Scapular Taping for Postural Awareness | Modern Manual Therapy Blog - Manual Therapy, Videos, Neurodynamics, Podcasts, Research Reviews

Scapular Taping for Postural Awareness

If your patients are having trouble with unilateral cervical, upper trap, and/or shoulder pain, here is a way to give them feedback on their scapular position.

I do not often tape my patients, but when I do, I use Kendall Wet-Pruf tape as it tears easily like bandage, but is stronger, and like the name says, is water proof. If it is applied to a cleaned and if needed, shaved area, it often stays until it is removed for several days. I was taped after a course, went rock climbing, worked out, took a shower, and went into a hot tub over the course of several hours and it was still on strong!

Pt: Sitting or Standing

  • scapula in overcorrected set position - my cue is 90% down, 10% back, otherwise it's just retraction
  • this should also cause some thoracic extension, but not lumbar extension
  • apply the first strip along the thoracic paraspinals superiorly to inferiorly to the inferior angle of the scapula
  • the next strip starts posterior to the AC and goes inferior and medially to the inferior angle
  • landmarks are not as important as general area
  • each strip is half overlaid with another strip of tape - a la Mulligan taping - and pulled slightly tighter
  • rub your hands over each tape application to slightly warm the glue
  • leave it on for 3-4 days
  • have them slightly slouch to feel the feedback of the tape pulling
  • if they "hulk out" the tape will not pull after a few times, it is meant as a gentle reminder, not to limit motion like athletic taping
  • this can be done bilaterally as well
If this is indicated, it should work within those first 3-4 days, and may need to be re-applied 1 time. More than that is usually overkill and also may cause skin irritation. Comment below if you try it and it works!

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