How to tape tennis elbow?

How to tape tennis elbow
  • Use a strong and durable tape
  • Stabilise the joint & promote blood flow
  • Consider a tennis elbow support product too

   Your Guide

Gavin Davison   Gavin Davison

Tennis elbow is one of the MOST FRUSTRATING INJURIES out there.

In fact, at the time of writing, I am actually undergoing physio for this EXACTLY INJURY!

When you play your elbow hurts, of course. But away from the court, tennis elbow can actually impact daily tasks too.

This may include PICKING UP your coffee, doing some gardening, and a whole range of other tasks. But as frustrating and painful as it can be, you can help yourself by taping it correctly.

To give you an idea of how this is done, check out the video right here:

As you can see, the physio tapes the arm tightly WITH A STRONG TAPE.

And this is the overall goal of taping the elbow.

Firstly, the tape IS DESIGNED to stabilize the joint and provide added support.

But secondly, the location and techniques used for taping are actually designed to INCREASE BLOOD FLOW TOO.

I have to admit, I’m not entirely sure how this works, but I am inclined to trust the professionals!

So – I’ve listed the KEY BITS OF ADVICE about taping the elbow. But let’s get a little more specific now.

A closer review of each point

Before I get into the ins and outs of taping the elbow, let me quickly give you a great resource.

Tennis elbow can often BE HARD TO DIAGNOSE, and it is sometimes confused with other ailments.

Therefore, I highly recommend you check your symptoms here before making any kind of self-diagnosis.

If you think YOU MAY BE SUFFERING from the tennis elbow, do contact your doctor to see what the best course of action might be.

But in the meantime, should you want to continue playing, strapping the joint is a good place to start!

Use of Strong and Durable Tape

The elbow is a HIGHLY MOBILE JOINT, and when you play tennis, the pressure on the elbow is actually very high.

Of course, when you are moving around the court hitting forehands and backhands, and when serving – you are extending the arm a great deal.

This also PUTS PRESSURE on the tape you are using for your tennis elbow too.

Therefore, it’s important that you choose strong and durable tape.

My number one recommendation is always KT Tape, as it’s approved by physios and I’ve actually used it in the past.

The tape is FLEXIBLE ENOUGH that it won’t tear when extending your arm, but it’s also very strong to stabilize the joint.

Of course, you don’t have to choose this tape, but it’s certainly ONE TO CONSIDER.

And if you need a refresher on how to tape the joint, check out this physio guide.

Joint Stabilization & Better Blood Flow

I highly recommend FAMILIARIZING YOURSELF with how to apply the tape for your tennis elbow before attempting to wing it.

If you’re not sure, you can always CHECK WITH YOUR doctor or with a physio.

Alternatively, you can easily watch videos like the one shown above to GAIN AN IDEA of what to do.

That aside, the main objective of applying the tape is to ensure that your joint gets all the support it needs when playing

As you will see through videos and diagrams of applying the tape, IT’S IMPORTANT to strap tight around the upper forearm initially.

Unless I’m mistaken, this is WHAT PROMOTES additional blood flow to the area while stabilizing your LOWER ARM.

However, since all of the ligaments are linked in around the elbow, you may also WANT TO CONSIDER applying some tape from your outer bicep to the upper forearm too

Remember, stabilization and joint support are the PRIMARY OBJECTIVES HERE.

And applying the tape correctly will ensure that you can get out there and play!

Nobody wants to take time off due to injury – TRUST ME, I’ve been there.

Tennis Elbow Support Product

If you feel that taping the joint just isn’t enough, you may want to consider getting an elbow support product.

There are plenty out there these days, and if you combine taping the elbow with one of these, you should be JUST FINE.

Or at the very least, you can rest assured that you are doing everything possible to stop the pain and keep playing.

Since there are so many products out there, it can be hard to choose just one.

Personally, I prefer the smaller products that fit snugly around the forearm.

The pressure applied from the strap really does help to stop the pain, and it avoids too much restriction concerning YOUR MOVEMENT OF THE JOINT. That’s a common problem with larger tennis elbow supports!

Bonus – preventative measures for tennis elbow

If you have recently recovered from tennis elbow, or perhaps you don’t have it bad yet, you will WANT TO PAY ATTENTION to the following:

1) Smooth Out Your Technique

In my many years of coaching, I’ve found that tennis elbow is more common in those with RELATIVELY POOR TECHNIQUE.

Players that try to muscle the ball put additional stress on the elbow and this is a HEAVY CONTRIBUTOR to tennis elbow.

Therefore, I’d recommend booking yourself in with a qualified coach to see where you can improve your technique.

2) Check Your String Gauge

This has actually been the cause of my recent tennis elbow struggles.

Stupidly, I figured it would BE A GOOD IDEA to get a cheap reel of string for the winter.

I had planned to put this string in the crosses and keep my expensive string in the mains, therefore extending the life of each re-string I did.

However, without PAYING ATTENTION TO THE GUAGE, I found out that it was much thicker than what I’d normally use. 

This has caused my elbow to FLARE UP and it has been problematic for many months now – don’t make the same mistake!

Warm-up Properly

Whenever you go out there to play..

Please.

Make sure.

You warm up all of your muscles.

A few laps of the court isn’t really enough.

You must get the:

  • Blood pumping
  • Loosen up the muscles
  • Joints with dynamic stretches, and
  • Start off slow when playing

I always start out by ROLLING A FEW BALLS in the service boxes before moving back to the baseline, and I’d recommend you do the same – ESPECIALLY if you are having tennis elbow issues.

Has this article helped you regarding how to tape your elbow? Do you have anything you’d like to add? Let us know below!

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