• Eric Lau

Taping Shoulder for Pain Relief

Kinesiology tape

  • To perform this taping technique you will need two pieces of Kinesiology tape cut into Y strips.

  • Apply the base of the Y strip along the deltoid tuberosity of the humerus. The deltoid tuberosity is where your deltoid inserts into the humerus.

  • Bring the patient’s arm up into abduction and external rotation like in a throwing motion. This position will lengthen the anterior deltoid. If this position is painful your patient can instead move their arm into extension which will also lengthen the anterior deltoid. In either position, apply little to no stretch to the tape as you lay the anterior tail of the tape around the anterior deltoid of your patient’s shoulder.

  • Next position your patient’s arm forward and internally rotate their shoulder. This will lengthen the posterior deltoid. Apply little to no tension to the posterior tail of the tape and lay the tape around the posterior deltoid of your patient’s shoulder.


  • Then ask your patient to put their hand behind their lower back. They can also pull their shoulder blade back slightly.

  • Place the base of the 2nd Y strip along the front of the shoulder. Then apply 75% tension on the superior tail of the tape and lay the tape above the “spine” of the shoulder blade. Apply 75% tension on the inferior tail of the tape and lay the tape below the “spine” of the shoulder blade.

  • Using the backing paper of the tape rub the K-tape and heat activate the glue on the tape.



Leuko tape

  • To perform this taping technique you will need two pieces of Leuko tape. Cover roll tape can also be applied on your patient's skin prior to performing this taping technique and the Leuko tape can be applied over it. This will help limit skin irritation when the Leuko tape is removed.

  • Ask your patient to retract their shoulder blade backwards. Apply the Leuko tape along the anterior deltoid. Pull the tape firmly back applying the end of the tape to the posterior deltoid.



  • Ask your patient to shrug their shoulder up slightly. Apply the 2nd strip of Leuko tape 1-2 inches below their arm pit. Pull the tape up toward the patient's opposite shoulder and lay the end of the tape on their upper trapezius. The strip of tape is referred as the “axillary sling”.

  • Use a small piece of paper to rub the Leuko tape and heat activate the glue on the tape.



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Toronto, ON  M5J 0B8

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