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Kinesiology taping does not alter shoulder strength, shoulder proprioception, or scapular kinematics in healthy, physically active subjects and subjects with Subacromial Impingement Syndrome.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of kinesiology tape (KT) on shoulder strength, proprioception, and scapular kinematics in healthy and Subacromial Impingement Syndrome (SAIS) subjects.

DESIGN: Placebo-controlled quasi-experimental study.

SETTING: Research laboratory.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 30 physically active subjects participated. Ten healthy subjects with no previous history of shoulder pathology received KT on the dominant shoulder. Twenty subjects with shoulder pain for a minimum of two weeks and presenting with clinical signs of impingement were allotted to receive KT (n = 10) or placebo taping (PT, n = 10) on the involved shoulder.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: All participants were tested pre- and post-application. Shoulder internal/external rotation (IR/ER) strength was assessed with isokinetic dynamometry (average peak torque/body weight). Shoulder IR/ER proprioception was assessed through threshold to detect passive motion (mean absolute error in degrees). Scapular position at 90° and 120° of shoulder abduction during arm raising/lowering were assessed using a 3D motion analysis system.

RESULTS: No significant within group or between group differences were demonstrated for any measure.

CONCLUSIONS: Taping does not appear to aid/impair shoulder strength, shoulder proprioception, or scapular kinematics. Future research should explore if the effects of KT are time-dependent and similar in other pathologies.

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