Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow is the term used to describe pain felt in the outer aspect of the forearm and elbow. In this condition the tendons of the muscles that contract to extend the wrist backwards are strained due to excessive or repetitive loading. These tendons  insert into the lateral elbow (Lateral epicondyle), hence the pain at this location. It is commonly found in tennis players and therefore its name. The injury can also be known as ‘lateral elbow pain’ or ‘archer’s elbow’ or ‘shooter’s elbow’.

Causes for Tennis Elbow:-
The problem occurs from repetitive daily activities or excessive loading of the wrist extensors with activities that encourage frequent wrist movements such playing the guitar, waiters carry trays or manual workers and players of any racket sports, especially if the person has a heavy racket or bad form.

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow are:-

  • Stiffness in the elbow in the morning time
  • Pain directly on the lateral epicondyle and radiating forearm pain
  • Pain with bending or heavy lifting
  • Pain whilst opening jars or turning the handle of a door
  • Pain with gripping
  • Pain with resisted wrist extension and wrist flexion stretching
  • Pain with resisted 2nd an 3rd fiinger extension

Treatment options: –
PRICE: Protect, rest, ice, compression (epilclast can also be advised to be worn to offload the tension)
Painkillers: Pain relief and NSAIDS  (non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) such as Ibuprofen, are helpful in reducing inflammation.
Exercise therapy: Stretches and strengthening the wrist flexors and extensors respectively is very important in the recovery of tennis elbow.
Taping: to offload the tendon is also very beneficial to patients
Manual therapy: Massage and joint mobilisation to the wrist extensors muscles and the radial head is effective to reduce symptoms
Steroid injections/ surgery: For severe pain and chronic pain medical and invasive procedures may be required

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