tennis season comes round every year which will see many of us inspired to pick up a tennis racquet again this summer, or watch our favourite players on the TV. Unfortunately, Tennis Elbow doesn’t just strike in the summer and can affect us at any time of year!
Tennis Elbow is a common musculoskeletal condition that gets its name from the game of tennis, as this is the most common sport to cause it. This is because the tendons involved in extending the wrist joint are also active when gripping, as in tennis. However, it is actually more common in non-tennis players, and associated with activities such as decorating, gardening, excessive typing or writing, or a combination of aggravating activities.
It is a common condition and an estimated 1 in 3 people have symptoms at any one time. It is more likely to occur in adults and those over the age of 40.
What is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is usually caused by repeated strain or strenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons near your elbow joint which are used to straighten your wrist. If the muscles and tendons are strained, tiny tears occur and degenerative changes in the tendon structure start to develop along with changes to the blood supply and changes in coordination of the muscles when using the hand and wrist.
What are the Symptoms of Tennis Elbow?
The first sign of tennis elbow is often pain and tenderness when pressure is applied to the bony bump on the outside of the elbow. If untreated a dull constant pain or sharp shooting pain can be felt, and swelling may be present. Other symptoms may include pain on twisting the forearm such as opening a door or jar, when gripping small objects such as a toothbrush or pen, pain on straightening your elbow and lifting heavy objects, when making a fist or shaking hands, and shooting pains from the elbow down to the forearm and hand, or into the upper arm may develop.
How is Tennis Elbow Diagnosed?
Tennis Elbow can be diagnosed by your physiotherapist or doctor. After listening to the history of your injury and using some confirming clinical tests a provisional diagnosis of tennis elbow can be made.
How is Tennis Elbow treated?
Physiotherapy aims to treat lateral epicondylitis by reducing elbow pain and facilitating tissue repair.
Your physiotherapist can work with you to restore joint range of motion and help get you back to normal function and muscle strength.
The physiotherapist will also treat any other structures that may have been effected such your neck or the nerves in your upper limb.
Your therapist can assess your movement patterns and identify activities that aggravate your condition. We can help you change or modify your technique in every day activities and in the work place environment to prevent it happening during treatment and after recovery.
For more information about physiotherapy treatment for tennis elbow or to book an appointment to discuss elbow pain with a physiotherapist please call us on 0191 285 8701