Don’t let the name fool you! Less than 5% of all cases occur in people from actually playing tennis. Other activities that require force or repetition can damage the tendons and cause this injury, such as lifting or painting.
Tennis elbow, clinically known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition that is typically presented as pain around the outside of the elbow. It often results from overuse of the forearm muscles; the muscles that extend your wrist and fingers. Muscles are attached to the bone (lateral epicondyle) by tendons. As a result of the overuse, the tendons become irritated/inflamed.
Other symptomsmay include;
- Pain on palpation of the structures on the outside of the elbow.
- Pain with lifting heavy objects, such as a kettle, coffee mug or grocery bags.
- Pain with gripping – such as hand-shaking or even holding a pen.
- Pain with twisting your forearms – such as turning the car key or a door handle.
Tennis elbow may get better without treatment, but this can take six to 18 months to resolve. However, there are certain things to do for symptom management and/or to speed up recovery.
Initially, choose to rest from the aggravating activity in order to allow the inflammation to settle. Follow this with individual exercises that are appropriate. You can have guidance from our Physiotherapists.
You could also try holding a cold compress to the area and try taking some pain-relief or anti-inflammatory medications as advised by your healthcare practitioner.
Exercise is rarely given as a sole treatment for Tennis Elbow, and instead is given in appropriate combination with soft tissue techniques, using an external support, acupuncture or dry needling, manual therapy and electrotherapy.
At Optimal Clinic, we are experienced in the assessment and appropriate treatment of tennis elbow and other upper limb injuries. If you would like to book in for an appointment, please call the Clinic on 0504233302 and let us help you with your recovery.