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Tackling Tennis Elbow: Treatment Guide

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a condition that affects the tendons in your elbow, usually through repetitive motions and overloading of the wrist and arm.

Overview

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a condition that affects the tendons in your elbow, usually through repetitive motions and overloading of the wrist and arm. It is the most common overuse syndrome in the elbow region, and it is considered a tendinopathy (breakdown of collagen fibres).

Please be aware that you do not have to play tennis or do sports to develop tennis elbow. Statistically, approximately 5% of people who suffer from tennis elbow actually play tennis.

The pain a person experiences from tennis elbow usually starts at the outside of the elbow then spreads into the back of the forearm and wrist. It manifests as inflammation inside the tendons caused by repetitive motions. Quite often the best treatment for tennis elbow is activity modification which can be very problematic if your livelihood depends on certain repetitive activities.

Causes

Overuse: the tendons in your body are very tough ropey like structures that attach your muscles to your bones. When you use your wrist and arm the muscles can get weak from overuse causing microscopic tears leading to pain and inflammation.

Activity: although racket sports can cause tennis elbow, it is also a condition prevalent in certain occupations such as electricians, plumbers, butchers, or people who do a lot of typing at work. It is thought the repetitive motion and lifting required in these occupations lead to micro tears and inflammation.

 

Diagnosis

Physiotherapy at Woodbridge have highly trained therapists that are used to assessing and diagnosing this condition. A thorough assessment and examination are critically important to ensure a correct treatment plan is implemented. You do not need an x-ray and ultrasound before attending your physiotherapy appointment for this condition.

Surgical or Other Procedures

  • Platelet rich plasma, Botox, corticosteroids
  • Surgery

Home Treatments and Tips

  • Rest: try to avoid activities that cause pain to your elbow
  • Pain relievers: ask your pharmacist or doctor for over the counter medications
  • Ice: apply a cold pack for up to 15 mins three to four times a day
  • Activity Modification: if you play sport try to alter your technique so you are not aggravating your elbow. In the workplace do the same.

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