One of the most common (and most debilitating) conditions we see is tennis elbow! But why is it called tennis elbow, and what it?
It’s actually called lateral epicondylitis but it’s known as tennis elbow because is a common condition in tennis players due to excessive gripping and the single sided repetitive movement.
These are the same reasons is relatively common in painters, electricians, carpenters and other sports besides tennis. Having said that, the most common reason we see isn’t from sport – it’s often from excessive typing with poor posture!
Lateral epicondylitis like most other tendon issues is an overuse injury from repetitive and or heavy load to the muscles attaching at the elbow, which control your wrist movement.
It can be a tricky condition to treat as relative rest is needed and often the repetitive action causing the problem can be work related. The condition can be present from months to years.
What can cause it?
- Excessive gripping activities
- Excessive load without adequate rest
- Sports involving throwing or hitting
- Poor office set up / typing technique
What can it feel like?
- Pain on the outer side of the elbow
- Pain often comes on gradually and worsens
- Forearms muscles may be tight
- Outer elbow can be sensitive to touch
- Pain with wrist movement and gripping
How can physio help?
- In the very early stages resting from painful and repetitive movement can sometimes be enough to reduce symptoms
- Specific stretches and exercises
- Elbow brace for symptom relief
- Graded strengthening
- Nerve gliding
- Education on pain management and likely aggravating activities
- In severe cases your physio assesses the need for cortisones or specialist referral