What is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis Elbow (aka Lateral Epicondylosis or Tendonosis of the elbow) is a painful condition of the elbow that is caused by overuse of the forearm muscles through repetitive actions. The pain and symptoms of tennis elbow are a result of inflammation at the tendon that attaches the forearm muscles to the outer part of the elbow bone. The tendon is a tough, ropey structure that connects muscle to bone. Physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment, or massage therapy can all be effective for treating tennis elbow.
What are the Symptoms of Tennis Elbow?
Common symptoms of tennis elbow include tenderness on the outside of your elbow bone and pain with gripping, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects with your hand/wrist. It is common with office workers who acquire this condition because of using their computer mouse excessively poor wrist posture. Elbow pain can also be caused by dysfunctions of the neck or the nerves that travel down your arm. Therefore, it is best to have a professional such as a trusted physiotherapist conduct a thorough assessment to determine if you have tennis elbow or if the pain is a referral from the neck or a combination of the two conditions.
The specific management for tennis elbow will depend on a few factors such as what caused it, how long it has been going on for, how much pain you are experiencing and what your treatment goals are. Typically, Physiotherapy treatment will involve soft tissue release to release the muscles and decrease the pull on the tendon, stretching exercises, strengthening exercises and possibly acupuncture or dry needling. Your therapist might also suggest extracorpeal shockwave therapy. Shockwave therapy uses a form of sound energy to break down scar tissue and help to stimulate an accelerated healing response. Research demonstrates great results for shockwave therapy especially when it is used in combination with exercise, activity modification and education. For best results from treatment, it is advisable to be regular with your home exercise program.