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Kinesiology Taping for Acute Tennis Elbow

posted by Tape Expert

This is the second in a series of articles on kinesiology taping for tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis.

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Kinesiology taping is an exciting new development in the treatment and management of tennis elbow or lateral eipcondylitis. This thin, lightweight, stretchy tape can be worn 24/7 for several days, providing round the clock therapy and relief for stubborn cases of elbow pain.

Different taping techniques can be used, depending on the desired outcome. For example, to reduce acute inflammation and help overused muscle relax, the tape is applied from the insertion (wrist end) toward the origin (elbow end). Both the muscle and the tape are stretched during application to maximally enhance circulation and take pressure off the inflamed muscle. This type of taping would be most beneficial during the acute stages of tennis elbow when activity levels have been restricted. It will enhance and prolong the benefits of physical therapy when worn between therapy sessions.

The following application instructions are for using a roll of kinesiology tape (as opposed to a pre-cut application, which will be discussed in my next post).┬áThe two best known brands of kinesiology tape by the roll are SpiderTape and Kinesio Tex Tape. Both come in rolls that are 2″ wide by 16.5′ long, and in four colors – black, blue, pink and beige.

This kinesiology taping technique is designed to reduce the inflammation in an acute case of tennis elbow and to help the muscle relax and recover. In this instance the tape will be applied from the insertion (wrist end) toward the origin (elbow end) of the wrist extensor muscles.

kt_tennis_elbow1. Cut a “Y” strip of tape long enough to stretch from wrist to just below the elbow
2. Flex the wrist (palm toward inner side of wrist), then rotate it slightly to the outside.
3. Remove the backing from the first inch (anchor end) of tape and apply with no stretch on the back side of the wrist, immediately above the hand.
4. Remove the backing from one side of the “Y” and stretch the tape approximately 25% of it’s available stretch. Carefully apply the tape along the inner border of the wrist flexors, ending just below the elbow. Apply the final 1″ of tape with no stretch. Rub tape to activate adhesive.
5. Remove the backing from the other side of the “Y” and stretch the tape approximately 25% of it’s available stretch. Carefully apply the tape along the outer border of the wrist flexors, ending just below the elbow. Apply the final 1″ of tape with no stretch. Rub tape to activate adhesive.
6. Cut a strip of tape approximately 3″ long. Tear the tape backing in the middle of the tape and peel backing back 1″ in each direction from the middle. Stretch this part of the tape to add 40% to its resting length, then apply directly below the elbow, partially covering the ends of the Y strips. Rub tape to activate adhesive, then apply the ends of the tape with no stretch.

Remember, that this type of application is best for acute cases of tennis elbow, during a break from activity. My next post will outline a different taping technique for those who are ready to return to activity.

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