Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylosis, common extensor tendinopathy) presents as pain on the outside of the elbow where the wrist extensor tendons attach. The pain can be local around the outside of the elbow or extend down into the forearm. Pain can be aggravated by everyday activities such as turning a door knob, picking up and gripping objects. It is very common among sportspeople and manual workers who repeatedly extend their wrist.
How does Tennis Elbow happen?
Tennis elbow is caused by overuse and/or repeated incorrect loading of the tendon or poor biomechanics which causes micro tears in the tendon. Micro-tears occur in the tendons around their attachment site to the side of the elbow. It is no longer known as a tendonitis as there are no inflammatory cells present around the site. Thorough physiotherapy assessment is needed to rule out pain referral from other areas of the body such as the neck.
How is Tennis Elbow treated?
- Exercises (see below)
- Taping and occasionally a brace can be used to change the load going through the tendon
- Soft tissue massage to release the tight muscles in the forearm
Activity modification of the aggravating activity initially to let symptoms settle down. Specific eccentric loading exercises to strengthen and remodel the collagen within the tendon. We will also look at your exercise program; modifying and correcting your technique to prevent it coming back.