Efficacy of 3 therapeutic taping configurations for children with brachial plexus birth palsy
By Journal of Hand Therapy | 25 April 2017
Sample Size:28

Study Design

Cross-sectional clinical measurement study.


Scapular winging is a frequent complaint among children with brachial plexus birth palsy (BPBP). Therapeutic taping for scapular stabilization has been reported to decrease scapular winging.

Purpose of the Study

This study aimed to determine which therapeutic taping construct was most effective for children with BPBP.


Twenty-eight children with BPBP participated in motion capture assessment with 4 taping conditions: (1) no tape, (2) facilitation of rhomboid major and rhomboid minor, (3) facilitation of middle and lower trapezius, and (4) facilitation of rhomboid major, rhomboid minor, and middle and lower trapezius (combination of both 2 and 3, referred to as combined taping). The participants held their arms in 4 positions: (1) neutral with arms by their sides, (2) hand to mouth, (3) hand to belly, and (4) maximum crossbody adduction (CBA). The scapulothoracic, glenohumeral and humerothoracic (HT) joint angles and joint angular displacements were compared using multivariate analyses of variance with Bonferroni corrections.


Scapular winging was significantly decreased in both the trapezius and combined taping conditions in all positions compared with no tape. Rhomboids taping had no effect. Combined taping reduced HT CBA in the CBA position.


Rhomboid taping cannot be recommended for treatment of children with BPBP. Both trapezius and combined taping approaches reduced scapular winging, but HT CBA was limited with combined taping. Therefore, therapeutic taping of middle and lower trapezius was the most effective configuration for scapular stabilization in children with BPBP. Resting posture improved, but performance of the positions was not significantly improved.

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