How to Tape an AC Joint With Kinesio

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The AC, or acromicoclavicular joint, is the joint located at the top of the shoulder where the scapula meets the clavicle. The AC joint makes it possible for humans to rotate and lift their arms above the head. This joint is also prone to injury in heavy contact sports such as football, hockey and rugby. Kinesio is an athletic tape that is intended to relieve the inflammation and pain associated with injuries across the body, including the shoulder’s AC joint.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric measuring tape
  • Sharp scissors
  • Measure the area from the patient’s mid-bicep to a point that is approximately 2 inches above the area where the arm meets the shoulder with a fabric tape measure.

  • Cut a piece of Kinesio tape according to this measurement with a sharp pair of scissors.

  • Cut the Kinesio tape in half lengthwise. Leave approximately 1 inch of the Kinesio tape uncut at the other end. The final shape of the Kinesio tape will resemble a “Y.”

  • Position the tape on the affected arm. Place the bottom of the “Y” shape at the point of the mid-bicep. Affix the remainder of the tape on the arm upward following the natural curve of the arm and shoulder. Wrap the two tails of the “Y” around either side of the shoulder’s muscle.

  • Cut a strip of Kinesio tape approximately 1 inch shorter than the initial piece.

  • Instruct the patient to hold his arm straight out at a 90 degree angle.

  • Apply the second piece of Kinesio tape starting just above the initial “Y” piece and working it upward straight up the arm and onto the shoulder.

  • Rub both pieces of the Kinesio tape with your hands to activate the tape’s glue, which will allow it to remain on the arm more effectively.

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