Background: Taping of the shoulder is common in many sports, particularly Australian Rules Football (AFL), a contact sport that frequently involves marking (catching) the ball overhead, and has a high incidence of shoulder instability.
Hypothesis: Taping of the shoulder improves reduces glenohumeral joint laxity and improved proprioception without impairing function.
Study design: Crossover study design.
Methods: Thirty-threeFollowing ethics approval, 33 male subjects aged between 18 and 31 years were recruited from a local AFL. Each player’s dominant shoulder was tested with and without taping in a randomized fashion by an examiner blinded to the presence or absence of taping. The tests included: (1) inferior gleno-humeral joint laxity (the ORI-laxometer1), (2) shoulder joint position sense accuracy using an optical tracking system, and (3) handballing accuracy.
Results: The methods for testing laxity and joint position sense had good intra-observer reliability and sensitive. All subjects tolerated the taping and testing. Glenohumeral joint laxity (p = 0.75), joint position sense (p = 0.56) and handballing accuracy (p = 0.6) were not changedenhanced or impaired by taping.
Conclusions: Taping of the shoulder joint in uninjured and non-symptomatic AFL players in a pattern that attempted not to restrict their range of overhead movement did not significantly affect the accuracy of joint position sense, inferior laxity, or handball accuracy.
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