What we’ll cover
What is the best treatment for tennis elbow?
Have you or someone you know ever experienced pain in your elbow commonly referred to as “tennis elbow”? This is a common tendon injury that most often arises from a period of overload of the wrist extensor muscles. Many of the muscles that control hand and wrist movement actually arise from the elbow and forearm, which is why your pain is felt in this region. Our physiotherapist Sarah Yule explores what causes tennis elbow and what you can do at home.
What is tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow is more scientifically referred to as lateral epicondylalgia. Although tennis players have a higher risk of developing this condition at some stage throughout their career, you can develop this condition without ever playing the sport. In fact, fewer than 5% of all tennis elbow diagnoses are specifically related to tennis. Other common activities that may result in the overload of wrist extensor muscles include gripping of heavy weights while in the gym, poor office ergonomics, carrying groceries, or many manual labour jobs like gardening or construction.
What exercises can I do for tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow can most commonly be treated conservatively by a physiotherapist utilising a range of manual therapy techniques, activity modifications, ergonomic assessment and an individualised exercise program aimed at reducing pain and strengthening the affected musculotendinous region. In some cases, your physiotherapist may also utilise taping or bracing to support the elbow and reduce pain. Some simple exercises that may be effective in the early phases of your injury management include:
- Grip squeeze (short vs long lever)
- Resisted wrist extension (short vs long lever)
How long does tennis elbow take to recover?
The timeframe of injury recovery may vary depending on several factors including how long you have experienced the condition, the extent of injury, your contributing factors as to why you have developed the condition as well as other external factors. Importantly, we know that without thoroughly strengthening the tendon complex, the likelihood of re-occurrence is very high. This is why it is important to have your injury thoroughly assessed by a qualified health professional.
If you or someone that you know is currently experiencing painful symptoms in your elbow, feel free to book an appointment with one of our qualified and friendly physiotherapists. Book online or call us today.