Initial effects of elbow taping on pain-free grip strength and pressure pain threshold

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2003 Jul;33(7):400-7. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2003.33.7.400.


Study design: Single-blind, placebo control, randomized, crossover, experimental study with repeated measures.

Objective: To determine the initial effects of a taping technique on grip strength and pain in individuals with lateral epicondylalgia.

Background: Taping techniques are advocated for chronic musculoskeletal conditions such as lateral epicondylalgia, a prevalent disorder with significant impact on the individual and community. Little evidence exists supporting the effects of taping techniques on musculoskeletal pain.

Methods and measures: Sixteen participants (mean age +/- SD, 45.8 +/- 10.2 years) with chronic lateral epicondylalgia (mean duration +/- SD, 13.1 +/- 9.9 months) participated in a placebo control study of an elbow taping technique. Outcome measures were pain-free grip strength and pressure pain threshold taken before, immediately after, and 30 minutes after application of tape.

Results: The taping technique significantly improved pain-free grip strength by 24% from baseline (P = .028). The treatment effect was greater than that for placebo and control conditions. Changes in pressure pain threshold (19%), although positive, were not statistically significant.

Conclusion: This preliminary study demonstrated an initial ameliorative effect of a taping technique for lateral epicondylalgia and suggests that it should be considered as an adjunct in the management of this condition.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bandages*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Hand Strength*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Threshold*
  • Pressure
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Tennis Elbow / physiopathology*
  • Tennis Elbow / therapy*