When the tendons of the elbow (scientifically called lateral epicondyle) are injured, irritated, or inflamed, it becomes a condition labelled as Tennis Elbow – medically termed as lateral epicondylitis. It is a painful condition that is often felt in the area of the arm near the elbow and/or in the elbow itself.
Tennis elbow is often caused by overuse, abuse, and misuse of the forearm. Many forearm muscles are attached around the lateral epicondyle; so whenever they are exploited, they pull too much force on the elbow making it sore. The most common activities that can induce lateral epicondylitis includes playing Tennis (especially backhands), frequent using of a screwdriver, drilling, and repeated keyboard and mouse use.
Symptoms may involve pain and tenderness, and are usually felt on the outside of your dominant elbow and into the upper forearm. The pain is often exacerbated by wrist motions like gripping and anything which requires the use of forearm muscles.
The treatment and procedures physiotherapy will provide may involve any or a combination of (but not limited to) the following:[su_list_fav]
- Soft tissue techniques to relieve the tension
- Joint manipulation and mobilisation
- Gentle stretching techniques to restore the normal motion of the elbow
- Specific management techniques to reduce inflammation
- Eccentric exercises that can help improve the strength of the forearm and, thereby, prevent further injury.
Initially, these methods will be customised to the area of concern. Later on, the joints and muscles of the wrist, hand, shoulder, neck, ribs and back will all be evaluated as well. Dysfunction in those areas may predispose to or help to relieve the Tennis elbow.