If you suffer from persistent soreness or stiffness in the upper back, neck and shoulders it’s probably a good idea to think about your posture and adjust it. For instance, changing the way you sit to eliminate hunching when working at a desk often helps. But as a short term fix, you could also use this kinesiology taping technique that is suggested for the relief of stiffness in the shoulders and upper back. This taping technique is also recommended for minor injuries to the trapezius muscles.
This taping technique is a development of the basic neck pain technique we have described in another article in this blog, which you should read first. It’s not possible to apply these techniques to yourself, so you’ll need someone to help you. All the following instructions are written from the viewpoint of the person applying the kinesiology tape. As ever, don’t use kinesiology tape as a substitute for medical advice from a qualified person.
Step 1: Follow the instructions in the Basic Neck Pain Kinesio Taping article. It should leave you with something that looks like this:
Step 2: Have the patient tip their head over to the right and hold it there, to stretch the tissues down the left side of their neck. Then apply a piece of unstretched kinesiology tape to run down the left side of their neck and along the top of their left shoulder as pictured:
Step 3: Repeat step 2 for the right hand side of their neck:
Step 4: Apply a final strip of tape across the patient’s upper back from one shoulder blade to the other. This strip needs to be applied with full stretch. Stretch it from each end and apply the middle part first, and then release the tension as you apply the very ends of the strip. The tape should be applied just below the level of the large plate of bone (the spine of the scapula) on the upper shoulder blades:
Step 5: That’s it!