Support your shoulder with kinesiology tape

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Support your shoulder with kinesiology tape

Verywell / Brett Sears


If your shoulder hurts, you may benefit from physical therapy to help decrease your pain, improve your shoulder mobility and strength, and improve the functional use of your arm. Your physiotherapist can use a variety of treatments and modalities to help you regain your optimal function.

Kinesiology tape is a treatment commonly used in physiotherapy. It can be used to help decrease pain, support your joints, manage lymphedema, and facilitate normal muscle contractions.

Often times, shoulder pain is accompanied by loss of range of motion in the shoulder and decreased rotator cuff strength. Your physiotherapist can teach you a variety of exercises to improve your rotator cuff strength and shoulder stability.

Kinesiology tape can be used to ease your rotator cuff and deltoid muscle in the shoulder. It can increase your physiotherapy exercises to make sure that you gain strength quickly and get proper movement around your shoulder.

Learning how to apply kinesiology tape to your shoulder to aid in shoulder and rotator cuff strength can be part of your PT for shoulder pain. Before applying the kinesiology tape, an evaluation by a physiotherapist is recommended to assess whether you would benefit from this type of tape. Your physiotherapist can also point out any contraindications to using duct tape and teach you how to properly cut the strips of duct tape for your shoulder.

It should be noted that research on the use of kinesiology tapes is limited.

A 2017 study examined the effects of using kinesiotape to manage shoulder pain and modify throwing kinematics in 20 people. The results showed no difference between patients who used kinesiology tape and those who used a sham (fake) K-tape treatment.

This treatment may not offer dramatic benefits and positive results may be due to the placebo effect. The risks associated with the use of the tape are also minimal. It is important to understand how K-Tape works and what to expect from using it.

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