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.
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.
The symptoms of this condition are usually worsened with forearm activity, and appear gradually over time, and eventually develop into pain, decreased flexibility and weakness. Pain around the elbow and forearm is the most dominant feature of tennis elbow which can become very intense depending on the severity of the condition. Weakness and a lack of flexibility of the elbow and wrist can present usually as a secondary cause to the pain, and it may be difficult to do regular tasks such as:
- Holding objects like a coffee cup
- Pain at night
- Shaking hands
- Turning a doorknob
Sometimes the condition can be relieved by using the PRICE protocol – Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation along with over-the-counter analgesics (talk to you pharmacist or family doctor regarding medications). If that does not work, you should contact Physiotherapy at Woodbridge, we are happy to offer a free 10min phone consultation for any questions you may have.
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.
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.
The intensity of your pain and inflammation will determine what your physiotherapist plans as part of your treatment. The treatments below are not necessarily exhaustive:
- Activity modification and pain control
- Dry needling
- Elbow brace
- Exercise- stretching/strengthening/eccentrics
- Laser therapy
- Manual therapy
- Shockwave therapy
- Sport specific rehabilitation
Surgical or Other Procedures
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.
Need More Info?
If you have any questions about tennis elbow or how Physiotherapy at Woodbridge could help – then please do not hesitate to contact us.
Our physiotherapist Derek Mernagh has many years of experience in dealing with tennis elbow and has treated many client with a successful outcome – visit his profile for more information. Physiotherapy at Woodbridge has many 5 star Google reviews from our clients who have had great results from their treatment. Remember, Physiotherapy at Woodbridge offers the most advance treatment modalities and one to one personalized care.