WHAT IS IT?
- Tennis elbow, also known as Lateral Epicondylitis, is one of the most common painful conditions of the elbow.
- Inflammation and pain occur on and around the outer bony bump of the elbow where the muscles and tendons attach to the bone.
- These structures are responsible for lifting your wrist up so this condition can occur With Many Activities, NOT JUST TENNIS!
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?
- Most commonly you will have pain & tenderness on the outer side of the elbow and this pain may even travel down the forearm.
- Often there is pain and/or weakness with gripping and lifting activities. You may also experience difficulty with twisting activities during sports or even opening the lid of a jar.
WHY DO I HAVE IT?
- It hurts because you are putting tension on a place where the tissue is weakened, which is usually due to a degenerative process that seems to take a long time for your body to recognize and heal.
- This is a common condition and unfortunately we don’t know why some people get this condition and others do not.
- Surprisingly, it is unclear, that it comes from overuse or something that you did “wrong”.
- There is no doubt that if you do have tennis elbow, it will bother you more to do certain things, but that does not necessarily mean it was caused by those activities.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
- The first step to getting better is to decrease the inflammation. Daily ice massage will help—fill a paper cup with water and freeze. Peel the top of the cup away to expose the ice and rub over the affected area in a circular motion for 5–7 minutes.
- Your physician may also prescribe some anti-inflammatory medication to take for several weeks.
- Modification of the painful activity & rest.
- Wearing a Tennis Elbow Strap while wrist/elbow activity may also help take the pressure off of the tendon attachment to the bone.
HOW CAN PHYSIOTHERAPISTS HELP?
- Perform a thorough assessment for the symptoms & condition to design the treatment plan.
- Administration of LASER and/or Shockwave Therapy which are evidence based and widely popular forms of treatment for Tennis Elbow.
- Perform Manual Therapy techniques.
- Perform Soft Tissue Mobilization for tight & tensed muscles.
- Once your elbow starts feeling better, your physiotherapist will provide you with appropriate Strengthening Exercises.
FAQ: DO I NEED SURGERY?
Tennis elbow rarely requires surgery. Patients that do not recover from the basic program above may need to have formal physical therapy or even a cortisone injection. Surgery might be recommended in cases of full thickness tear of muscles.