How to apply Tape: Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff is the group of muscles and their tendons that act to stabilize the shoulder. These muscles are relatively small, yet are extremely important in all shoulder movements. They start at the shoulder blade and connect to the upper arm in a fashion that forms a “cuff” to provide the needed stability and mechanics of the shoulder.

To further explain the vital nature of these muscles, understand that the shoulder joint is much like a golf ball sitting on a tee. This design is necessary for the wide range of motion needed from the arm, but inherently creates a relatively unstable joint. The rotator cuff muscles are the muscles responsible for countering this unstable state. Though often thought to be an injury related specifically to athletic activity, incidence of rotator cuff injury is just as high in non-athletic populations.

Rotator cuff injuries generally involve many factors. Incidences of injury increases with age and degeneration of the tendons, but younger individuals with this condition have likely overused the shoulder joint or have developed muscle imbalances or poor biomechanics. Causes include muscle tears, overuse, hyperextension or hyperflexion of the shoulder, poor throwing form, among others. The tendons at the ends of the rotator cuff muscles can become torn or inflamed and lead to pain or restricted arm movement. Torn rotator cuffs can also occur following acute trauma to the shoulder, or more commonly through the overuse of the tendons. Athletes or individuals that frequently make repeated throwing motions, swinging motions, or explosive pushing or pulling motions are especially at high risk. Swimming, racquet sports, and throwing sports are all good examples of activities with high incidents of rotator cuff problems.

Rotator cuff pain presents as pain among the muscles in the shoulder that are responsible for rotation and lifting. Pain is generally felt at the front and outside of the shoulder or in the shoulder itself. Symptoms include pain, weakness, raised shoulders, and decreased range of motion. The pain is made worse with activities requiring the arm to operate overhead or out in front of the body. Clicking, catching, or snapping are rare symptoms in rotator cuff injuries and may be indicative of other problems such as a torn labrum or fracture.

Early diagnosis and action is essential to prevent irreparable damage. KT Tape can be used during the healing process to create stability, relieve pressure, increase circulation, and relax the overworked or strained muscle. Icing after activity and rest are essential and should be combined with NSAIDs to combat inflammation and pain. After the initial healing process has completed, a strengthening rehab program should be implemented.

Application overview

The rotator cuff is the group of muscles and their tendons that act to stabilize the shoulder. These muscles start at the shoulder blade and connect to the upper arm to provide the needed stability and mechanics of the shoulder. Causes of rotator cuff injury may include overuse, tears, motion beyond normal limits, or poor throwing form. KT Tape can help treat this condition by providing support and stability, relieving pressure to reduce pain, and increasing circulation.

What you need

2 strips of KT TAPE
1 full 25cm strip
1 full 25cm strip cut in half

Apple 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

how to apply tape to rotator cuff step 1

Tilt head away from the shoulder.

how to apply tape to rotator cuff step 2

0% STRETCH

ANCHOR: Anchor a full strip slightly under the point of pain as shown without stretch.

how to apply tape to rotator cuff step 3

25% STRETCH

APPLY: Apply the tape around the shoulder and under the shoulder blade with 25% stretch.

how to apply tape to rotator cuff step 4

0% STRETCH

FINISH: Apply the last 5cm of the tape without stretch.

how to apply tape to rotator cuff step 5

80% STRETCH

ANCHOR: Anchor the middle of a half strip of tape across the first strip as shown with 80% stretch.

how to apply tape to rotator cuff step 6

0% STRETCH

APPLY: Lay ends down without stretch.

how to apply tape to rotator cuff step 7

80% STRETCH

ANCHOR: Anchor the middle of a second half strip across the first strip as shown with 80% stretch.

how to apply tape to rotator cuff step 8

80% STRETCH

ANCHOR: Anchor middle of a half strip of tape over the point of pain with 80% 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.