Tennis Elbow


This is probably my favourite time of the year the Roland Garros or French Open tennis competition is on television and the former Stella Artois tournament but now renamed AEGON tournament is only a few weeks a way. And then Wimbledon is here!


As a clinician I don’t see vast numbers of tennis elbow caused by tennis. This is probably due to lightweight rackets and a more relaxed technique taught now. But tennis elbow does still appear at the clinic and the most common cause of it is the computer mouse.



Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

• Pain about 1-2 cm down from the bony area at the outside of the elbow or lateral epicondyle.
• Weakness in the wrist with difficulty doing simple tasks such as opening a door handle or shaking hands with someone, using a corkscrew or screwdriver.
• Pain on the outside of the elbow when the hand is bent back at the wrist against resistance.
• Pain on the outside of the elbow when trying to straighten the fingers against resistance.
• Pain when pressing just below the lateral epicondyle on the outside of the elbow.
• Painful trigger points in the forearm.

The typical mechanism of injury for tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis, to give it its correct name, is sustained extension of the wrist and gripping at the same. The exact thing you do sitting at a computer all day with a mouse in your hand.

Therapy should start with the simple and conservative before progressing to the more invasive therapies. The object of therapy for tennis elbow is to relieve pain, microbleeding and inflammation, promote healing, rehabilitate the injured arm and try to prevent recurrence.



Treatment for Tennis Elbow

• rest from the activities that cause elbow pain
• correction of incorrect postures and motions, workplace ergonomics, ergonomic mouse
• assess neck function
• ice or medication such as oral or topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to reduce the inflammation
• exercise regimen such as eccentric and concentric strengthening,
• soft tissue work on tendons and muscles of forearm
• if sports related assess technique and racket grip size
• tennis elbow brace and measured return back to full activity

Recent research has shown that corticosteroid injections are not recommended and can result in tissue failure of the tendons in the elbow so stay with the conservative approach. Pick a good practitioner, be patient and enjoy the tennis on the television. Lets face it, this is the time of year where tennis fans watch tennis and don’t enter into the seasonal rush for tennis courts!

We can provide the correct treatment and advice at the Angel Wellbeing Clinic with our Osteopath, Chiropractor and Sports Physiotherapist.

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