How to use Kinesiology Taping for Shoulder Subluxation

How to us Kinesiology Tape for Shoulder Subluxation

By: Tayler Roost

What is shoulder subluxation? 

Shoulder subluxation is a dislocation of the glenohumeral joint. This can be classified as traumatic, non-traumatic, or neurological. A traumatic shoulder subluxation can be caused by contact sports or repetitive shoulder movements. A non-traumatic shoulder subluxation can be caused indirectly by another injury such as a rotator cuff tear. A neurological shoulder subluxation can stem from diagnoses such as a stroke, spinal cord injury, or brachial plexus injury. Whatever the category of subluxation is, it affects the person’s ability to functionally use their arms, especially during lifting, flexing, and abducting their affected shoulder. 

How to know when someone has shoulder subluxation? 

The person will usually present with pain in the shoulder, loss of range of movement, and a palpable gap between the humeral head and the acromion. The subluxation is typically measured in finger width. Special tests can be completed as well to identify if there is a subluxation such as the load and shift test, apprehension test, and relocation test. 

How to use kinesiology tape for subluxation support: 

  • Cut 3 strips of kinesiology tape into 6in-8in pieces with rounded corners 
  • Anchor at the top of the deltoid 
  • Add a second piece, anchoring at mid-arm, stretching to approximately 30-50%, and attaching at the upper trapezius with shoulder approximated
  • Add a third piece following the same steps as above anchoring at mid-arm, stretching to approximately 30-50%, and attaching at AC joint area with shoulder approximated
  • Rub to adhere and they should be good to go! Ensure skin integrity and patient satisfaction after application. 

Reference: 

Chang, K., & Vitoonpong, T. (2023). Shoulder subluxation – statpearls – NCBI bookshelf.
National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507847/ 

1 Comment

  1. Brian Bulger on February 14, 2024 at 2:46 am

    This article on kinesiology taping for shoulder subluxation is very informative. I appreciate the detailed instructions and emphasis on proper assessment. The examples and videos provided make it easy to understand and implement. Thank you, Hand Therapy Academy, for this valuable resource!

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