Shoulder pain can be a result of many different causes, including but not limited to osteoarthritis, muscle tears, frozen shoulder, bursitis, and tendonitis. Most of these afflictions involve a stiffness or decreased range of motion, and pain associated with certain movements or certain positions. Range of motion issues are largely a result of a rotator cuff issue, and can usually be resolved by associated exercises and stretches.
This is where kinesiology tape comes into play. With traditional athletic tapes, they tend to be rigid and designed to support firmly when less range of motion is desired. With shoulder pain, inflamed muscles push against the skin where there is usually little space to begin with, causing greater pain depending on the level of inflammation in the affected area. Kinesiology tape is designed to be more flexible and breathable, allowing the tape to move more freely with your body. Through contraction, it creates a lifting action that draws the skin away from the layers beneath, allowing for more space for them to move and stretch. This directly addresses the main issue when it comes to pain related to inflamed muscles, and gives them more room to flex and exercise to allow them to return to their original state.
Kinesiology tape can be applied to the shoulder area to work together with many range of motion exercises to increase strength and stability. Tape application may initially be difficult, and assistance from a physical therapist or personal trainer is a good idea when completing your first applications. Have your professional guide you through the steps they are taking so you can replicate them later. It’s usually a good idea to have a video taken of the process so you can have visual instructions as well. Your therapist can guide you in the process and adjust accordingly should you have any trouble or questions.
Proper application of kinesiology tape should be directly assisting the appropriate muscle groups, based on the area of application. This allows them to stretch easier and more completely. Since the shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the human body, with some of the greatest range of motion, kinesiology tape can help isolate some groups which may require more attention than others.
Kinesiology Tape Application To Assist Rotator Cuff And Deltoid Stability
Rotator cuffs and deltoids will likely be the areas you want to support if you are experiencing shoulder pain. Most instances of shoulder pain originate from these areas, and will, therefore, be the muscles and areas you may wish to target. Always ensure that your shoulder is clean and dry before application to maintain proper adhesion. If the area that you wish to apply has enough hair, you may want to shave the hair to make the removal process easier.
Front Strip Application
- The first strip should be applied to the front of your shoulder. It should measure from the top of the front of your shoulder to the side of your arm.
- Remove about two inches of the backing and stick it to the front part of your shoulder.
- Remove the backing and reach out behind you to stretch the muscles in the front of your arm, then gently pull the tape to about 25% stretch and anchor it to the side of your arm about a third of the way down.
- Rub it in place to generate some heat to help the glue adhere to your arm.
Back Strip Application
- The back strip should measure from the back of your upper shoulder to the same place on your upper arm as the front strip.
- Remove about two inches of the backing and stick it to the upper part of the back of your shoulder.
- Remove the backing and reach your shoulder across the front of your body to stretch the muscles in the back part of your shoulder, then gently pull the tape to about 25% stretch and anchor it to the side of your arm so that it slightly overlaps the front strip.
- Once again, rub it in place to ensure proper adhesion.
While this may be the most common application for shoulder stability, there are other uses for kinesiology tape, which can be used to target other areas. Once again, a physical therapist or personal trainer can guide you to what you need most, and identify the anchor points on your body that will most greatly benefit you. As human physiology can differ from person to person, it is also important to consult with an expert first to ensure you are identifying the correct anchor points for your own body.
Kinesiology tape is also excellent for providing natural cues to your body through tension. Due to your skin’s sensitivity, this tension will give your brain feedback on the state of the taped area, and how best to increase stability in that area.
Feel free to experiment! Sometimes, the best way to get the most out of a tool is by testing it with different exercises and applications. Everyone is unique, and you are no different. Share your experiences with your friends and swap stories about what you’ve learned. There are many ways to use kinesiology tape, with so many different benefits.
Colin Hegarty is a content writer for BreezeMaxWeb that helps businesses showcase their brand through enticing copy. When he’s not working, you can find him playing net in a local beer league or biking around the city.