|Muscle Application (M)
|Pain Application (P)
Recently I started coaching my daughters softball team and an old injury that sidelined me about 10 years ago came creeping back again; medial elbow pain. Some of you may still call this ‘medial epicondylitis’ while others may call it ‘golfers elbow’. I call it elbow pain or perhaps medial epicondylosis because the science has shown that there is no inflammation (at least the classical type) occurring at the medial epicondyle. Numerous investigators worldwide have shown that the pathology underlying these conditions is tendinosis or collagen degeneration1. I also don’t ever play golf.
I have attempted many treatments such as soft tissue manipulations, acupuncture, physical therapy, dry needling, guasa and even TONS of rest. None of which made any sort of long-term impact. I have used kinesiology tape many times as well, but no application seemed to really provide any relief, until now.
The following application for medial elbow pain is not only extremely effective (for me), but also very simple to apply to your patients or even on yourself.
Begin by measuring to cuts of tape. The first cut will be an I-strip that will be a Myofascial Application (MA) for the pronator teres muscle. The second piece will by a Y-strip that will be applied as a Pain Application (PA) at your point of pain.
Start with the elbow in full extension and the hand supinated. Place the anchor (approx. 1 inch) of your I-strip over the medial epicondyle with no tension. Using 25% tape tension, lay the I-strip down following the direction of the pronator teres muscle to its insertion on the radius. Lay down your end with no tension. Be sure to activate the adhesive prior to advancing to the next step.
Place the anchor slightly proximal to the anchor of the I-strip; be certain that you have solid skin/tape contact. The split in you Y-strip should be where the pain is being felt. Take one of the arms on the Y-strip and apply it with 50-75% tension, laying it down just off of the border of the I-strip. Take the other arm of the Y-strip and lay it down with matching tension along the other border of the I-strip. Activate the adhesive.
This application is simple and effective. When applied correctly, it can stay on for 5 days, sometimes longer. Be sure to educate your patients on the proper care and use of kinesiology tape. I like to ask my patients to remove the tape the night before they are coming to see me to allow the skin some time to recover from the application. The skin in this part of the anatomy is commonly thin and easily irritated. If this occurs, the reapplication of the tape will be difficult. That is why proper attention to care and use is so important.