Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow, or ‘lateral epicondylalgia’, can prevent athletes from performing at their peak due to excruciating elbow pain. Tennis elbow can even affect non-tennis-playing individuals through random injury such as picking up a heavy object, or overuse injuries common at work. Regardless of what category you fit into, Forefront Physiotherapy Geelong is here to help you recover.

Your elbow is comprised of many different tissues such as the forearm extensor tendons, forearm extensor muscle bellies, the radius, ulna and humerus bones, various ligaments and the nerves of your elbow. Tennis elbow, however, specifically refers to pain and reduced function in the tendons of the elbow which are designed to support the movement of your forearms.

The symptoms of tennis elbow include:

  • Pain on the outside of the elbow, the forearm, or back of the wrist
  • Pain with a load that requires the wrist to extend, like hitting a tennis backhand, or revving a motorbike

Besides tennis, Tennis Elbow is common in sports that require repetitive impact on your elbow. These include activities such as racquetball, fencing, squash and weight lifting. When participating in tennis or any other activity, it is best to be wary of elbow pain. Elbow pain may indicate an injury and you should promptly seek professional advice.

What causes tennis elbow?

  • Repetitive force on the elbow, such as hitting a tennis ball
  • Overuse of the elbow
  • Inadequate recovery following activity
  • Systemic diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol and excess bodyweight increase the risk of tennis elbow

6 Tips to help manage Tennis Elbow:

1. Avoid irritating activities where possible

If playing a sport, lifting weights, or finishing that home DIY project is causing your pain to increase, take some time to let this settle. Continuing to push into pain repeatedly can prolong the time to recover. 

If your pain is work-related, identify if you can change the way you perform the task, or delegate, to reduce exposure to the pain provoking activity.

2. Continue with tolerable activities

Complete rest can also increase the time it takes for tendons to heal. Having a tennis elbow doesn’t mean that you need to stop activities that don’t increase the pain. If some gym exercises are still tolerable, and you can still wash and dry the dishes, you don’t need to stop. You may also wish to trial a different grip on your tennis racquet, or with your exercise equipment. A simple modification can help you continue with the activities you enjoy.

3. Reduce your pain

Applying ice and performing some gentle stretches are two things you can do to reduce your pain. Additionally, Forefront Physiotherapists can utilise other treatments such as taping, dry needling and massage to assist in reducing your pain.

4. Build a robust tendon with exercise

Forefront Physiotherapists can identify exercises that are appropriate for your specific pain. Once a baseline is established, our physios will work with you to develop the strength and resilience your tendon needs to work for you, without pain.

5. Consult your doctor

Other treatment modalities may be recommended by your doctor such as injections or ultrasound to help aid your recovery.

6. Book an appointment online

Book a physiotherapy appointment online at Forefront Physiotherapy Geelong and get expert assessment and treatment for your tennis elbow such as massage therapy and dry needling. Forefront Physiotherapy Geelong is experienced in dealing with tennis elbow and strive to restore your function and mobility.