How do I know if I have tennis elbow?
Lateral epicondylitis, otherwise known as “tennis elbow” is one of the most common injuries of the elbow. It is caused by overuse or repetitive strain involving the muscles of the forearm. This condition is common in occupations that involve repetitive motions of the wrist and forearm, such as painters, plumbers, carpenters, computer workers and musicians. As the name would suggest, tennis players and those who play other racquet sports such as badminton and squash are also at risk. This can be due to not only repetitive movement of the wrist in the dominant arm, but also poor hitting technique or a recent increase in training volume, which does not allow the body enough time to rest and heal adequately.
Repetitive extension of the wrist causes inflammation and irritation of the tendons that attach into the elbow, causing pain around the outside of the elbow. The pain may also spread down the forearm and into the wrist if the condition worsens. Movements that involve gripping with the hand can also cause pain and you may feel as though you lack strength in the affected forearm and hand
How can it be treated?
- Your physiotherapist will perform a variety of assessment techniques to ensure that your pain is indeed being caused by irritation of the tendons that attach into the elbow - it is important to have a thorough assessment conducted, as elbow pain can have a number of other causes
- Exercise therapy for tennis elbow consists of loading the affected tendon in a controlled manner with strength exercises involving the wrist and forearm
- Your therapist may also perform soft tissue massage and other manual therapy techniques to reduce excessive tension in the forearm musculature
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) can help to relieve pain
- Shockwave therapy has also been shown to reduce pain and improve function in patients with tennis elbow by enhancing tissue repair – we offer this here at Gold Coast Sports and Spinal Physio! To learn more about shockwave therapy, visit the “Our Services” tab here on our website
Tennis elbow is very much treatable, and our team is dedicated to helping you return to all of your daily tasks and sporting activities, pain-free! Phone us today on (07) 5527 7092 to book a consult.