A characteristic of scapulothoracic dysfunction is the tendency for the upper regions of the trapezius to hypertrophy in relation to its middle and lower portions. This creates a muscular imbalance that can alter scapular position and subsequently the length–tension relationship of the shoulder muscles. Tape was applied over the right upper trapezius to inhibit electrical activity in the muscles of 10 uninjured subjects. EMG activity was recorded in two locations of the upper trapezius and one location in the middle to lower trapezius region while each subject maintained an isometric contraction designed to activate both muscles. With the tape applied, there was a statistically significant reduction in EMG activity of the upper trapezius with a corresponding increase in the middle/lower trapezius. The ability of the tape to alter trapezius activity in this fashion may help correct muscular imbalances in the trapezius muscle.
Gary E. Morin is with the Department of Exercise Science, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT 065 15. David Tiberio is with the Department of Physical Therapy, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269. Gary Austin is with the Department of Sport, Leisure, and Exercise Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs.