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Kinesiology Taping for Tennis Elbow – Part 1

posted by Tape Expert

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Part 1 – Introduction to Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a very common and very frustrating injury among racquet sport players and others who actively use their forearm muscles.  It is characterized by pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow (lateral epicondyle), that may also radiate down the forearm.

Activities that are especially painful to tennis elbow sufferers include:
– lifting or carrying objects, using the fingers and hand
– squeezing actions such as shaking hands
– rotation or twisting motions of the wrist
– extending or cocking the wrist

tennis_elbow_anatomy_2The symptoms of tennis elbow are caused by inflammation and small tears in the tendon connecting the extensor muscles of the wrist to the lateral epicondyle (the bony bump on the outside of the elbow). It is considered to be a form of tendonitis. Tennis players aren’t alone in their battle with this challenge, however. It can be caused by any activity that involves repetitive use of the forearm muscles, even such simple activities as using hand tools, pulling weeds, painting or carrying a heavy briefcase. Among tennis players, the most common causes are poor backhand technique,  a racquet grip that is too small,  strings that are too tight or playing with soft, wet or heavy balls

Many cases of tennis elbow respond to simple therapies like rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medication within a few weeks. Others, however, are more resistant to treatment, and become long-lasting chronic conditions.

There are as many treatments for tennis elbow as there are causes, and many sufferers expend significant time and money before finding the best solution for them. Home-based treatments include elbow braces or supports, forearm straps to compress the wrist extensors, shock-absorbing devices worn near the elbow, liniments and creams, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. Medical interventions include acupuncture, prescription medication, cortisone injections and physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the surrounding musculature. Surgery is rare, but may be required in serious cases.

Kinesiology Taping for Tennis Elbow
st_body_elbow_1Kinesiology taping is an exciting new development in the treatment and management of tennis elbow. This thin, lightweight, stretchy tape can be worn 24/7 for several days, providing round the clock benefits for stubborn cases of elbow pain. Compared to traditional athletic tape which only provides support and restricts movement. kinesiology tape actually has therapeutic properties. In addition to rapid relief of pain, it also increases circulation, which reduces inflammation and accelerates the healing process. A well-applied kinesiology tape application is like receiving tennis elbow therapy 24/7 for days at a time.

My next posting will discuss different kinesiology taping techniques for lateral epicondylitis in various stages of inflammation.

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