If you are dealing with golfer's elbow, or medial epicondylitis, there are many home treatment options that can help you get on track with your recovery. Kinesiology taping is one method, commonly used in physical therapy to reduce and prevent pain. When it comes to golfer’s elbow, taping is a safe and fairly simple technique you can try at home. Keep reading to learn more about kinesiology taping and how to apply tape for your elbow pain.
When kinesiology tape is placed across a specific joint or muscle, it changes the way our body perceives movement in that area. Also referred to as biofeedback., the tugging of the tape on your skin provides extra feedback to your body and brain for coordinating meaningful movement. Moving our bodies with intention and attention to proper form is a great way to boost healing and prevent unnecessary aggravation of the elbow.
Other theories involve the tape’s ability to increase circulation by gently lifting the skin and down-regulating over-sensitive pain pathways.
Golfer's elbow is a common overuse injury of the forearms muscles that flex the wrist and fingers. Medial elbow pain is also linked to excessive gripping. Thus, use of tape can be a great tool for helping an individual be aware of their gripping habits and any other movement patterns that are straining the forearm muscles and causing elbow pain. Applying tape to the inside of the elbow is also a technique that someone can easily apply to their own arm for use.
Here is a simple review of how to apply tape to your elbow for managing medial epicondylitis:
There are several other taping alternatives you can try too with 1 to 2 strips. Sometimes the distal (further away) ends of the tape are cut into two pieces to address a more diverse area of forearm muscles. The ultimate goal is to have a piece of tape that crosses the inside of the elbow joint.
Now that you understand how kinesiology tape works, the benefits should be pretty clear. It is important to note that the research related to kinesiology tape varies and is not well-supported. However, subjective improvements among patients make it a viable option to try that comes with little to no risk to experiment with. The potential benefits of taping the elbow include, but are not limited to, the following:
To prolong the longevity of the tape and reduce skin irritation, keep these simple kinesiology taping tips in mind.
Most studies have found no big difference between the benefits of taping and bracing. Both can provide biofeedback and support the joint. Taping does have the additional potential benefit of increasing circulation. Ultimately, which option is best for you comes down to preference and how often you will be needing the extra support.
Kinesio taping for golfer’s elbow is another great option to add to your toolbox as you recover from elbow pain. Since medial elbow pain is most often related to overuse, having an effective feedback mechanism can help you start to change your movement patterns to maximize healing and minimize the risk of future injury. These techniques are also effective for tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, as well when targeting the outer elbow. You can experiment with your own roll of tape for a relatively low cost or risk. Otherwise, you can talk to your physical therapist about specific techniques that would benefit you.
As always, consult your doctor or PT for further medical advice if your elbow symptoms suddenly worsen or don’t get better with time.
Sources:SHOP Golfer's Elbow
Next Pages:How to Sleep with Golfers Elbow