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Glenohumeral Dislocation

Jackie came to the studio and had me working directly with her physician. As we are in the business for positive patient outcome, we are allies in patient care to ensure greater recovery times and a better quality of life.

Chronic dislocation of Glenohumeral joint creates laxity in musculature (Subscapularus muscle) which stabilizes the humerus into the Glenoid fossa. There is a chronic history of dislocations of the long head of the Biceps tendon. Anterior to posterior push of humerus will dislocate the humerus but produces no pain. Complaints of sensation in Bicipital groove when doing so. This is a result of collagen forming around the Bicep tendon from chronic dislocation. There is a small amount of fluid build up in her Sub deltoid/ sub Acromial bursa. This is caused by humeral instability.

My goal as her trainer/ therapist is to stabilize the humerus and give her the ability to function in her day to day life pain free. Surgical intervention is not covered by insurance because the tear on her Subscapularis runs horizontal to the muscle fibres and are slightly less than fifty percent. Corrective procedures are performed only when the tears are happening in the vertical direction at fifty percent or more leaving this patient stuck with this condition. If she opts for a private medical surgery, she will then need 6- 8 months off of work she is not willing to go through.

Before applying RockTape, there is weakness and no stability at ninety degrees of shoulder flexion to terminal range of shoulder flexion. As a result of the dislocation, the sensory receptors in the tendon of the biceps have an abnormal response leading to atrophy of the bicep musculature.

After application of RockTape, the humeral stability is greatly increased. Range of motion with load (low - moderate weight) is present from zero degrees to one hundred and sixty degrees of flexion. Patient reports that there are contractions of prime moving muscles as well as stabilizers, something she has not felt in years on the affected side.


Taping details:

Objective: To stabilize the humerus into the Glenoid fossa so patient could perform activities of daily living without pain or assistance.


Two “I” strips were used for this application. The first “I” strip I placed anchored onto the superior end of the humerus and pulled at 70- 80% tension before applying one tail onto the superior fibres of the upper Trapezius. The second tail I applied the same amount of tension to the Posterior Scalene.

The second “I” strip I used to anchor half an inch above the axilla in a horizontal direction, stretched around 30% and applied the tails onto the Infraspinatus and the Teres Minor musculature. The last photo in the video depicts another modification of taping. Although there a several ways to apply tape to the patient’s condition, I will always use the tape according to what the affected joint / soft tissues need.

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