Date of Degree


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name



Physical Therapy


Suzanne R. Babyar

Subject Categories

Physical Therapy


Purpose: To determine if application of Kinesiotape™ was able to normalize the overall reaching motion by analyzing both surface electromyographic data and force platform feedback. Design: This study utilizes a case-control design.

Subjects: 5 control and 5 stroke survivors age >40 were recruited for this study through flyers at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, White Plains, NY.

Methods: Surface EMG electrodes were applied to upper extremity (UE) and lower extremity (LE) muscles and an accelerometer placed on the reaching UE. Subjects stood on a force platform and reached towards a target at shoulder height. The task was repeated 5-7 times with right and left UE and again with Kinesiotape™ applied to the stroke survivors’ involved UE and the healthy controls’ non-dominant UE. The Kinesiotape™ was placed to activate the levator scapula and middle trapezius or rhomboid muscles and inhibit the upper trapezius. Data reduction occurred off-line. Data were analyzed using SPSS for split-half ANOVA, paired sample t-tests for post-hoc analysis, and Kruskal-Wallis test for variables that did not distribute normally.

Results: When normalized for time of reach, there was a statistically significant (p.001) increased center of pressure excursion/length for a taped weak reach showing increased postural sway when compared to an untaped weak reach or a strong reach. No other variables reached significance. Conclusion: Application of Kinesiotape™ to inhibit the upper trapezius muscle and to activate the middle trapezius or rhomboid and the levator scapula muscles does not appear to normalize reaching by patients with stroke when compared to healthy controls.