Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a type of tendonitis that affects the tendons that join the outside of the elbow with the muscles of the forearm. It typically develops in response to overuse of the elbow and may cause significant pain, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Tennis elbow does not only affect tennis players. Anyone who uses the elbow and forearm repetitively, such as a painter or golfer, is also at increased risk. Taping the elbow before engaging in activity can prevent a worsening of symptoms and reduce the likelihood of recurrence.
Tape your elbow if you are currently experiencing symptoms of tennis elbow or have a history of tennis elbow. Taping before sports or other activities can ease discomfort and reduce your risk of injury, according to PhysioAdvisor.com.
Bend your arm at a 90-degree angle and feel the outside of your elbow with your fingertips to locate the lateral epicondyle bone. It feels like a rounded projection or small ball at the end of your humerus bone, next to your elbow, and points outward when your arm is folded and placed against your torso.
Bend the affected elbow slightly while your arm hangs at the side of your body, and apply tape around the elbow about 2 cm below the lateral epicondyle. Apply the tape parallel to your wrist.
Apply the tape to the outer side of the elbow firmly and to the inner portion of the elbow gently. Taping too tightly inside your elbow can interfere with circulation.
Remove the tape and readjust if your symptoms do not improve or if you experience a worsening of pain. This may indicate the tape is on incorrectly.
Remove the tape slowly by pressing down on the skin nearest the tape mark and gently pulling the tape away from the skin. Replace the tape every 24 hours, or more often if it becomes wet or damaged.
To protect your skin from the adhesive of the tape and to make removing the tape easier, apply sports pre-wrap before taping your elbow.
If the taping doesn't help ease the symptoms of tennis elbow or the pain persists, consult your health care provider.