How to apply KT Tape: Shoulder stability

The shoulder is an inherently unstable joint, yet very important for almost all of life’s activities. The shoulder complex consists of many muscles, ligaments, tendons, bone, bursae, cartilage, and other anatomical components. Shoulder instability, or the resultant pain, can be a major problem on its own. Additionally, poor shoulder movement or placement can cause many other problems in the neck, spine, and chest – as well as the entire body.

Shoulder pain can have many different root causes, but is almost associated with anterior (or forward) shoulders. Muscles imbalances, notably overly strong or tight muscles in the chest and corresponding weak muscles in the back, can aggravate this issue and exacerbate poor posture. Poor biomechanics in the hips, legs, or torso can further upset the fluid movement of the shoulder and incite pain. Shoulder pain can also be caused by any number of issues in the joint space such as tears, arthritis, swollen bursae or inflammation, ligament laxity, and so on. With forward and raised shoulders the joint is put under pressure and doesn’t have much of a chance to heal. This postural set also makes way for many other complications in the rest of the body.

Retracting the shoulders will almost always create more joint space and relieve the stress and pain in the shoulder. Use this KT Tape application to bring the shoulders back to a normal set, take pressure off of the upper back muscles, and lengthen out the muscles in the chest. The result will be more joint space and less pressure on the already painful area. The application will serve as a gentle reminder to the muscles to keep the shoulder back in this healthy set. Use this application in combination with the General Shoulder Pain application for maximum effect*.

Other helpful treatments include massage, muscle release therapy, muscle balancing through assessment and training, as well as a conscious effort to maintain good posture. Try to avoid steroid shots that break down healthy tissue. Ice after activity and use NSAIDs if pain becomes intolerable.

Application overview

Unstable shoulders can be caused by overuse, past shoulder injuries, ligament laxity, or flexor dominance. KT Tape can help by improving posture mechanically and comfortably.

What you need

2 strips of KT TAPE

Apply before activity

Apply one hour before beginning activity

Clean skin

Clean dirt, oils and lotions from area

Activate adhesive

After application rub tape vigorously to activate adhesive

Body position

Put the shoulder blades in a retracted position while sticking the sternum or chest out.

0% stretch

One full strip of tape at a diagonal, just off the spine and going over the bottom of the angle of the shoulder blade.

25% stretch

Tape towards the top of the shoulder or AC joint using 25% stretch.

0% stretch

Apply last two inches of tape without stretch.

0% stretch

Anchor one full strip of tape adjacent to the first strip of tape.

25% stretch

Tape along the line of pain with 25% stretch.

0% stretch

Apply last 5cm of tape without stretch.

CAUTION: If you have skin sensitivities, cancer, or are pregnant, consult your doctor before use. Discontinue use if skin becomes irritated or sore. KT TAPE® is not a replacement for professional medical care. Warranties and remedies limited to product replacement cost. READ ALL CAUTIONS ON ENCLOSED INSTRUCTION SHEET PRIOR TO USE.