Lateral Epicondylitis, also known as “Tennis Elbow”, is the most common overuse syndrome in the elbow. Interesting fact is that only 5% of people suffering from tennis elbow actually relate the injury to tennis! It is a tendinopathy injury involving your extensor muscles of your forearm. It occurs often in repetitive upper extremity activities such as computer use, heavy lifting and repetitive rotational movements. Despite the name, you will also commonly see this chronic condition in other sports such as squash, badminton, baseball, swimming and field throwing events. If you have a job with repetitive one-sided movements such as electricians, carpenters, gardeners and desk bound jobs. You are more likely to be commonly present with this condition.
If you overuse the muscles and tendons of your forearm and elbow, together with repetitive contractions or manual tasks this can put too much strain on your elbow tendons. This injury is often work-related. Activities involving wrist extension, pronation or supination during manual labour, housework and hobbies for example. These are considered as important causal factors in your diagnosis. The pain is located mostly on the lateral side of your elbow. Sometimes some swelling might be noticeable on the same area. Tension and tenderness over the muscles of your forearm is very common and usually it is restricting the movement of your elbow and wrist joint. Furthermore, patients report weakness in their grip strength or difficulty carrying objects in their hand, especially with the elbow extended.
Ice: Apply ice or a cold pack for 15 minutes three to four times a day.
Rest: Avoid activities that aggravate your elbow pain.
Pain management with medication (A GP or pharmacist will be able to recommend a suitable NSAID)
Technique: Make sure you are using proper technique for your activities and avoiding repetitive wrist motions.
Your physiotherapy treatment might involve manual therapy techniques, such as massage and manipulation to relieve pain and stiffness. This also encourages blood flow to your arm. Sometimes, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) and Acupuncture may be suitable for your condition to reduce pain and improve your function.
Shockwave therapy would be another option as a non-invasive treatment, where high-energy shockwaves are passed through the skin to help relieve pain and promote movement in the affected area. Research shows that shockwave therapy can help improve the pain of tennis elbow in some cases. Finally, an exercise programme with strengthening and mobility exercises is usually given for optimum rehabilitation.
f you have problems with your elbow, please get in touch to let us help you understand your issue more clearly and speed up your recovery!
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