Tennis elbow is a condition that causes pain around the outside of your elbow. It often occurs after strenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm, near the elbow joint.
The elbow joint is surrounded by muscles that move your elbow, forearm, wrist and fingers. Tennis elbow is usually caused by overusing the muscles attached to your elbow and used to straighten your elbow and your wrist. If these muscles and tendons are strained or overworked, tiny tears and inflammation can develop at the outside of your elbow near the bony lump.
• Playing racquet sports such as tennis, and badminton.
• Manual work such as plumbing, and carpet fitting.
• Using a paintbrush or roller while decorating.
• Using shears while gardening.
• Throwing sports such as the javelin or discus.
• Activities that involve fine, repetitive hand and wrist movements such as typing, using scissors, crochet, and playing musical instruments such as guitar or violin.
An episode of tennis elbow can usually last between six months and two years. However, about 90% of people will make a full recovery within a year.
• Pain on the outside of your forearm, just below the bend of your elbow which may also travel down your forearm towards your wrist.
• Pain when lifting or bending or straightening your arm or gripping small objects.
• Pain when twisting your forearm, such as turning a door handle or opening a jar.
A careful evaluation of your medical history, listening to your symptoms and making a full physical assessment of not only your elbow but also the rest of the body will help to rule out other contributing factors to your elbow pain and make a straightforward diagnosis. It is important for the clinician to understand how symptoms developed, if any occupational risk factors, and the recreational sports that you might perform. An elbow problem often can result from impairments in your shoulder or from neck issues. A full assessment with your physical therapist helps to determine the root cause of your symptoms using a variety of tests to pinpoint the diagnosis.
Tennis elbow is a self-limiting condition, which means it will eventually get better without treatment. However, treatment intervention is available that can be used to fasten your recovery.
• Rest, Ice pack (wrapped in a towel) to be used for 7- 10 minutes several times a day to help ease your pain.
• Taking painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen with advice from a pharmacist or doctor can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
• Physiotherapy is found helpful in more severe and persistent conditions to relieve pain, and stiffness and improve joint mobility. Specific exercises are helpful for strengthening the muscles of the forearm along with muscle-stimulating techniques to improve muscle healing.
• Injection of steroid and local anaesthetic, if the above intervention does not prove to be beneficial, can be considered, your physiotherapist or doctor will consider referring you for injection if required.
• Surgery may be used as a last resort to remove the damaged part of the tendon which will be done after the review with an orthopaedic consultant. Prevention is more important to avoid repetitive recurrences of symptoms which involves self-care, avoiding repetitive nature of activities where possible, using a tennis elbow splint if advised by a doctor or physiotherapist and continuing with exercises given by the physiotherapist to build up your muscle strength are vital measures to be taken for preventing tennis elbow symptoms.
Why is Tennis Elbow a big thing?
Pain from tennis elbow can make it hard to perform your physical activities as it may affect and make it difficult to grip items. In general, tennis elbow doesn't cause serious, long-term problems
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