The biomechanical effects of rotator cuff taping on muscle activity and throwing velocity in fatigued baseball players
Master of Science
Therapeutic taping (rotator cuff)
MetadataShow full item record
Introduction: Due to the repetitive, high forces and torques placed on an individual during a baseball pitch, shoulder pain is present in 46-57% of pitchers. Therapeutic taping has been used in various sports including baseball as it has been proposed to have beneficial qualities in injury prevention and rehabilitation and performance enhancement via muscular facilitation. Therefore, the purpose of this study will be to investigate the effect of taping (Kinesio Tape® and no tape) on the velocity of an overhead baseball throw and muscle activation patterning of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and pectoralis major muscles in baseball players after muscle fatigue has been induced. Methods: Participants were asked to complete two, 45-minute sessions under two different taping conditions (no tape and Kinesio Tape®). Participants were asked to complete three pretest maximum velocity overhead throws, a fatiguing protocol, followed by three post-test maximum velocity pitches while velocity and EMG activity in the infraspinatus, supraspinatus, teres minor, and pectoralis major muscles were measured. Results: There was no statistically significant difference in throwing velocity with the application of the different taping conditions, t(5)=.456, p=.668. There was no statistically significant difference in tape conditions on the supraspinatus muscle activity in phases one (t(6)=-1.023, p=.346) , two (t(6)=.172, p=.869), or three (t(6)=-.299, p=.775) of the overhead throw. There was no statistically significant difference in tape conditions on the infraspinatus muscle activity in phases one (t(6)=.436, p=.678), two (t(5)=1.66, p=.158), or three (t(5)=.314, p=.766) of the overhead throw. There was no statistically significant difference in taping conditions on the pectoralis major muscle activity in phases one (t(5)=.871, p=.424), two (t(4)=.520, p=.63), or three (t(5)=1.073, p=.332) of the overhead baseball throw. Conclusion: Based on the results of this study, Kinesio Tape® does not significantly change muscle activation or velocity of an overhead baseball throw when compared to a no tape condition. Future research needs to complete testing with a larger sample size to better capture the effects of taping on surface EMG in the baseball population. Clinicians, baseball players, baseball coaches, and trainers should consider the possible pros and cons of taping in deciding whether or not to apply therapeutic taping to the shoulder and the rotator cuff muscles.