Tennis elbow, also known as Lateral Epicondylitis, is a common overuse injury that is characterised by pain and tenderness localised to the outside of the elbow.
Signs & Symptoms
- dull aching pain located on the outside of the elbow
- can be very tender to touch
- aggravated with gripping activities, but eased with rest
- grip weakness is common
- can sometimes ache or throb at night
- common in tradesmen and office professionals involved with repetitive typing
How is it caused?
Tennis elbow is caused by overstraining the muscles and tendons in the forearm used in gripping and straightening the wrist and fingers. The repetitive overuse of these muscles and tendons causes micro-tears in the tendon attachment at the outside of the elbow. This leads to chronic pain, weakness and degeneration of the tendon.
Risk factors to developing tennis elbow include:
- a sudden increase in work volume
- prolonged and repetitive use of racquets or hand tools ie. hammer, power tools, paint brushes
- repetitive heavy lifting ie bricklaying, weight lifting
- excessive computer use or keyboard typing
Tennis elbow is difficult to treat with some minor cases lasting between three to six months. Severe cases can take much longer, require time off work, and may need cortisone injections and sometimes surgery if it is not responding to treatment.
It is very important you see a Physiotherapist as soon as possible if you start developing Tennis Elbow symptoms or risk long term complications!
How can we help?
- Therapeutic Ultrasound to decrease pain, accelerate the inflammatory phase of healing and stimulate repair.
- Soft Tissue Massage to reduce pain and forearm muscle tension.
- Acupuncture / Dry Needling to relieve pain and release trigger points. This can be performed with Electrotherapy for enhanced pain relief if appropriate.
- Kinesio-Taping & Braces to decrease pain with aggravating activities.
- Develop a Strengthening Program to promote tendon healing and improve grip strength.
- Education & Advice regarding activity modification to allow the injury to heal, and technique correction to prevent it from returning.
Is Tennis Elbow stopping you from working or exercising like you use to? Have you heard stories from friends and are concerned you too may have to give up work altogether?
See an expert at Spine & Sports Physiotherapy now and stop your Tennis Elbow pain before it’s too late!!!