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Posts Tagged ‘Lateral Epicondylitis’

The following video shows chiropractor, Dr. Scott Swanson, demonstrating the proper technique for applying Kinesio Tape to someone with tennis elbow. This application technique is designed to increase circulation to the overused extensor muscles of the forearm, helping to reduce inflammation. It also reduces the activation signals to these muscles, allowing them to relax and recover from the lateral epicondylitis condition.

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The following video shows Dr. Kevin Jardine, inventor of SpiderTech pre-cut kinesiology taping applications, demonstrating the proper technique for applying the Elbow Spider to someone with tennis elbow. This application technique is designed to reduce elbow pain and optimize muscle activation in the forearm extensors – the muscles directly responsible for the pain and inflammation of tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis.

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This is the third installment in my tennis elbow series. Part 1 provided an overview of tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis. Part 2 provided kinesiology taping instructions for acute tennis elbow during a break from activity, with the goal of relieving inflammation and helping the overused wrist extensor muscles relax and recover.

Many people with tennis elbow, however, can’t or don’t want to take time away from the activity that is responsible for the pain and inflammation. Many athletes prefer to “play through” overuse injuries like tendonitis of the elbow, while manual laborers with lateral epicondylitis may need to continue working to earn a living. In these cases, a different kinesiology taping technique can be used to reduce pain and provide structural support for the muscles of the forearm.This technique is also applicable to individuals returning to activity after taking time off due to tennis elbow pain.

Taping from the origin (elbow end) to the insertion (wrist end) of the forearm extensors will facilitate activation of these muscles, overiding the body’s natural decrease in muscle tone and muscle activation that occur in response to pain. The following step-by-step instructions are for using pre-cut kinesiology tape for tennis elbow. The brand name of this product is SpiderTech, and the elbow application is one of 15 different precut kinesiology tape applications for different parts of the body. The following images show the shape of the pre-cut SpiderTech Elbow application, followed by a diagram of the reverse side showing the application sequence.

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My next posting, “Kinesiology Taping for Chronic Tennis Elbow – Part B” will provide step-by-step application instructions for the SpiderTech Pre-Cut Elbow Tape.

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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). The 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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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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