How to Use Kinesiology Tape to Treat Golfer's Elbow

If you have medial epicondylitis or golfer's elbow, you may benefit from physical therapy to help you eliminate your pain and get back to your normal activities. Your PT may prescribe various exercises for your golfer's elbow, and he or she may use different treatments and modalities to help treat your condition. 


Golfer's Elbow Kinesiology Taping

Kinesiology tape on an elbow
Brett Sears, PT, 2015

Kinesiology tape for your golfer's elbow may be one option that your physical therapist uses to treat your condition. Kinesiology taping, also known as K-tape, is a treatment that can be used to decrease your pain, inhibit muscle spasm, or facilitate the correct muscle contraction of your elbow and wrist muscles.

If your PT recommends using kinesiology tape for your golfer's elbow, you should learn how to cut the proper tape strips. You should also review the contraindications to kinesiology taping.

This step-by-step guide will teach you how to properly apply kinesiology tape for golfer's elbow. It can be used as a treatment prior to performing your golfer's elbow exercise program, or you may apply it before you engage in athletic activities, such as golf, to improve your pain-free sports performance.

Before doing any treatment for your golfer's elbow, you should check in with your healthcare provider or physical therapist to ensure that it is the correct treatment for your condition.


Cut a Y Strip for Your Elbow

Handing holding a Y strip of kinesiology tape
Brett Sears, PT, 2015

Before starting the application of kinesiology tape, make sure your skin is clean and dry and free of any lotions. If you have quite a bit of hair on your arm, you may want to shave it off for a better application.

To start your golfer's elbow kinesiology tape, first cut a "Y" strip about 5 to 6 inches long. Round the edges with your scissors, and cut a 2 to ​a 3-inch line in the middle of the strip to form the arms of the "Y."

Once your "Y" strip is cut, tear the paper backing on the wide end of the tape and at the base of each arm of the "Y." This is just an inch or so of th epiece that is opposite the "Y." Leave the paper backing on—you'll remove it in later steps.


Apply the End to Your Upper Elbow

Y strip of kinesiology tape applied to elbow
Brett Sears, PT 2015

Start the application of the kinesiology tape for golfer's elbow by removing the paper backing on the end of the tape opposite that "Y" arms.

Apply the tape to your inner arm, just above your elbow and the lateral epicondyle (the small bony bump on the inside aspect of your elbow). Rub the tape gently to ensure that it adheres properly.


Apply the Tape Across Your Elbow

Strip of kinesiology tape applied to elbow
Brett Sears, PT, 2015

Once the end of your kinesiology tape is affixed to the medial epicondyle of your elbow, apply 25% to 50% stretch to the tape while removing the paper backing. Leave the paper backing on the "Y" arms.

Stretch the tape over your elbow and press on it to adhere it to your elbow. Be sure that there are no wrinkles in the tape.


Affix the Y Strips to Your Forearm

Kinesiology tape applied to elbow
Brett Sears, PT, 2015

Once your kinesiology tape is stretched across your elbow, remove the paper backing on one of the arms of the "Y." Stretch the tape over your forearm, and then press it and rub it to affix the tape to your forearm.

Remove the paper backing off of the remaining arm of the "Y," and then stretch it 25-50% and adhere it to your forearm. Rub it gently to ensure that it adheres properly, and be sure there are no wrinkles in the tape.

Once the tape is applied to your elbow, you are ready to go. You can keep the tape on for 2-5 days, and it can get wet. Watch your skin around the tape for signs of irritation, and remove the kinesiology tape if you see any redness of your skin.

Studies for the use of kinesiology tape show varies results; the tape is not a cure-all for golfer's elbow, and you should engage in an active rehab program to help your condition. That will likely include exercises to help improve the way your elbow moves and improve your elbow's tolerance to accepting stresses and loads.

A Word From Verywell

If you are dealing with the pain and limited function related to golfer's elbow, you may benefit from using kinesiology tape to help improve muscular support and muscle facilitation to your elbow. This may help you quickly return to your previous level of pain-free function and activity.

2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Artioli DP, Bertolini GRF. Kinesio taping: application and results on pain: systematic reviewFisioterapia e Pesquisa. 2014;21(1):94-99. doi:10.1590/1809-2950/553210114

  2. 1. Cha H, Kim M, Shin Y. Immediate effects of forearm elastic and nonelastic taping on wrist flexor muscle and grip strength of normal adultsJ Phys Ther Sci. 2016;28(10):2769-2771. doi:10.1589/jpts.28.2769

By Brett Sears, PT
Brett Sears, PT, MDT, is a physical therapist with over 20 years of experience in orthopedic and hospital-based therapy.