TENNIS ELBOW

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Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a type of tendonitis that affects the outer (or “lateral”) part of your elbow. This condition is usually a result of the tendons that attach the forearm muscles at the elbow becoming inflamed and painful. The name “tennis elbow” is used as it was commonly caused by repetitive motions of the arm or wrist, like the swinging of a tennis racket. Despite its commonly used name, tennis elbow can happen to anyone through repetitive and strenuous overuse of the forearm and wrist such as:

 

  • Repetitive lifting or gripping

  • Using power tools

  • Sports like tennis, racquetball, hockey, badminton, or even golf, that use a racquet or a stick acting as a lever on the forearm muscles, and any repetitive use of the hand

 

The pain is generally felt in the bump on the outside of your elbow (known as the lateral epicondyle) where the tendons of the forearm attach, but can be felt further towards the wrist as well. Symptoms of this condition include pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow, weak grip, and pain with activity that involves squeezing or lifting with the palm down.

The condition is often due to tiny tears and inflammation within the tendon, which is painful when stressed. If left untreated, tennis elbow can last for a long time and interfere with many of the activities of daily living, as well as sports. 

WHAT CAN PHYSIOTHERAPY DO?

We have many different tools at our disposal to treat this issue. The first step is identifying the underlying cause, as there is often dysfunction at the elbow or neck that have “set you up to fail” during the activity that caused the pain.  

 

Treatments involve restoring normal function of the joint, using manual therapy and exercise, and local modalities such as:

  • IMS

  • Ultrasound

  • Shockwave

  • Acupuncture

  • Cryotherapy

  • Bracing

 

When the area is responding well, we will direct you to exercises that are aimed to recondition the area and make it more resilient for a sustainable positive outcome that allows you to participate in your sport or the game of life without restrictions.