Original Research

Effects of shoulder strapping in patients with stroke: A randomised control trial

Nicolette Comley-White, Witness Mudzi, Eustasius Musenge
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 74, No 1 | a430 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v74i1.430 | © 2018 Nicolette Comley-White, Witness Mudzi, Eustasius Musenge | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 September 2017 | Published: 29 August 2018

About the author(s)

Nicolette Comley-White, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Witness Mudzi, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Eustasius Musenge, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Disability post stroke remains a global problem, with upper limb involvement playing a key role. Shoulder strapping is one of the techniques used clinically to address this.

Objectives: To compare the effect of two shoulder strapping techniques in patients with stroke.

Method: A longitudinal randomised controlled trial included baseline, weeks one, two and six assessments of 56 participants with upper limb hemiplegia. The participants were assessed for shoulder subluxation, shoulder pain, upper limb motor function and muscle tone. They were randomised into control, longitudinal strapping or circumferential strapping groups.

Results: Longitudinal strapping had a non-significant decrease in shoulder subluxation and pain (p > 0.05). Circumferential strapping had no significant effect on any outcomes; however, it prevented the shoulder pain from worsening as much as in the control group (p > 0.05). General improvement in upper limb motor function was observed for all three groups.

Conclusion: Trends in improvement showed that longitudinal strapping could be recommended because it positively influenced shoulder subluxation and pain. Even without significant changes, strapping creates awareness of the limb in patients and caregivers and could be of clinical benefit.

Clinical implication: Longitudinal strapping of the shoulder in patients with stroke seems to positively influence shoulder subluxation and pain.


Keywords

stroke; shoulder strapping; cerebrovascular accident; subluxation; upper limb; hemiplegia; upper limb function; taping

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