Tennis Elbow is a condition where the outer part of the elbow becomes sore and tender at the lateral epicondyle. From repetitive overuse the forearm muscles and tendons become damaged. This will lead to pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow. Later, it was also called “washer women’s elbow”. It is also a condition caused by inflammation of the tendons that attach the extensor carpi radialis brevis to the outer bony prominence (lateral epicondyle) of the elbow. And this condition is caused by certain repetitive movements of the wrist. This can occur in anyone who strains the tendons of the forearm and is not limited to tennis players. Tennis elbow is also called lateral epicondylitis.
Because of its name, don’t think athletes are the only people who develop tennis elbow. People whose jobs feature the types of motions that can lead to tennis elbow include plumbers, painters, carpenters and butchers.
The pain of tennis elbow occurs primarily where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to a bony bump on the outside of your elbow. Pain can also spread into your forearm and wrist. Tenderness comes on the outside of the elbow and you can get morning stiffness of the elbow with persistent aching .Soreness of the forearm muscles. Elbow pain will become worse when you grasp or hold an object..
There may be associated weakness in the muscles around the forearm and wrist and this may cause difficulty in performing simple tasks by weakness gripping things, opening a door handle or shaking hands with someone.
- We at Sara rehab a professional therapist may perform a number of assessment tests to help diagnose lateral epicondylitis. One test involves straightening the middle finger against resistance as this is often the most sensitive test and most likely to reproduce pain indicating possible epicondylitis. There are also other tests that may be performed and these include the ‘Mills maneuver’ and ‘neural tension’ tests to assess the nerve tissue in the area\
Physiotherapy treatments for these conditions are vital for hastening the healing process and ensures an optimal outcome and reduce the likelihood of injury recurrence. Treatment may comprise of
- Soft tissue massage
- Use of a tennis elbow brace
- Joint mobilization
- Dry needling
- Ice or heat treatment
- Progressive exercises to improve flexibility, strength & posture
- Training and activity modification advice
- Technique correction
- Anti-inflammatory advice
- Devising and monitoring an appropriate return to sport or activity plan.
For more information about Sara Rehab Sports Physiotherapy, contact us at 905.497.4550