#019-Kinesiotaping for Rotator Cuff–Related Shoulder Pain

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 59 seconds.*

The Effect of Adding Kinesiotaping for Rotator Cuff–Related Shoulder Pain

? Goal

This RCT (PEDro score 8/10), hypothesized that the addition of Kinesiotape (KT) to a 6-week rehabilitation program will increase pain-free ROM and acromiohumeral distance (AHD).

Two groups, KT+ Rehabilitation (26 participant), Rehabilitation program (26 participant).


KT Application

3 strips of blue Kinesiotape, for 72 hours, new KT after the end of every session.

  1. Y-shape for hypothetical inhibition and muscle relaxation, light tension [15%-25%], surrounding the 3 portions of the deltoid muscles as a group, from insertion to origin.
  2. I-shape for shoulder functional correction, recommended for multiaxial shoulder instability, severe tension [50%-75%], from 7 to 10 cm above the acromioclavicular joint to 7 to 10 cm below the deltoid tuberosity, passing over the supraspinatus, trapezius, glenohumeral joint, and middle deltoid muscle.
  3. I-shape, for mechanical correction of glenohumeral joint, severe tension [50%-75%], placed with inward pressure, from the coracoid process to posterior deltoid, just slightly below the coracoacromial arch.

Rehabilitation Program

  • 30 to 45 Minutes, 2 sessions/week for the first 4 weeks, then 1 session/week for 2 weeks.
  • Exercises were chosen according to the specific needs of each participant.
  • Exercise mostly consisted of sensorimotor training (motor control), and strengthening exercise. (Full description of exercise here)
  • 4 Home exercises after each session, 3 sets/day of sensorimotor training and 1 set/10 repetitions of strengthening exercise.

?Outcome measures:

  • Symptoms and functional limitations measured using Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire.
  • Pain intensity and rotator cuff–specific symptoms measured using Brief Pain Inventory (DPI) and Western Ontario Rotator Cuff index (WORC).
  • Active ROM, measured with universal goniometer, measured Active pain-free ROM and full ROM for shoulder flexion and abduction.
  • Acromiohumeral distance (AHD) measured at rest and at 60 degrees shoulder abduction using ultrasound.


At 6 months follow-up:

  • No significant difference between groups in all outcome measures.
  • Both groups improved all outcome measures.

Time to minimal clinically important difference (MCID) by outcome measure:

Data from both groups:

  • DASH scores reached MCID at week 3.
  • WORC reached MCID at week 3.
  • BPI scores reached CID at week 6.
  • Pain-free ROM abduction and flexion and full ROM abduction increased significantly from baseline to week 6.
  • AHD at 60° of abduction increased from baseline to week 6.


  • One explanation from the authors is that the effect of KT was surpassed or masked by the treatment plan, which was shown to be effective alone.
  • Or, simply, KT has no effect.

?‍?Learned from this article:

  • The addition of kinesiotaping for Rotator Cuff–Related shoulder pain do not improve outcomes.

The good news is the treatment plan used in this article works.

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*Calculation is based on the average reading speed that around 200 words per minute (wpm).

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