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How Physiotherapy can help treat tennis elbow

Tennis racket

Tennis elbow is the most common type of elbow pain. The term refers to pain in the lateral epicondyle, or the bump on the outer side of your elbow, and the muscles and tendons on the back of your forearm. The condition is so-called because the muscles injured in a tennis elbow injury are those used to play tennis.

Some other names for Tennis elbow include Lateral Epicondylagia and Extensor Tendinopathy.

This part of the body may be especially vulnerable to strain injuries as it has a poor blood supply. In the case of a severe injury, recovery may take several months, especially when untreated.

There are many pathologies that can cause Tennis Elbow so it is important to see a Physio early to get it properly diagnosed. Tennis Elbow pain may be referred from the thoracic spine or neck, or due to nerve entrapment. It can be due to tendinopthy which is a tendon overload injury or occasionally due to a muscle strain.

Common causes of tennis elbow include:

–  Lack of strength in the shoulder and forearms

–   Poor technique or inappropriate gear when playing sports

–   Repetitive movement by the hands and arms including using a hammer, painting, gardening or using a mouse and keyboard

–   Poor patterns of movement putting more load on these areas

Tennis elbow is characterised by pain in the outer elbow, which may spread to the forearm. Pain can develop suddenly or may come on slowly. You might notice increased pain when holding objects, shaking hands and performing tasks that put pressure on the wrist such as opening doors or brushing your teeth.

There are many different treatment options for sufferers of tennis elbow. One of the less invasive is physiotherapy. Physiotherapy has proven to have long and short term results for management of tennis elbow, with much better results than treatment by corticosteroid injection. Physiotherapy treatment for tennis arm can assist the healing process, provide an optimal outcome, and prevent the recurrence of this injury.

Your physiotherapist will discuss strategies with you based on your symptoms to achieve the best outcome for you. This can involve treating the pain, repairing the tissue, restoring normal joint motion and function and restoring normal movement patterns. Physiotherapists offer a variety of techniques, including exercises to strengthen the tendons, massage, ice or heat treatment, load management and ergonomic changes. You may be prescribed a brace to assist in your recovery. Preventive measures include technique correction and education. Your treatment will depend on the diagnosis of your injury.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of tennis elbow, book an appointment with Paddo Physio today to see how physiotherapy can treat your pain and restore your joints.