What is Tennis Elbow?
The medical term for Tennis Elbow is Lateral Epicondylitis, although it can happen to anyone, not just tennis players. Tradesman in particular roofers, carpenters and glaziers are commonly affected. Athletes like boxers, mixed martial arts, golfers and even cricketers can also fall victim to tennis elbow.
What causes Lateral Epicondylitis?
Usually caused by an overuse of the forearm extensors that cross the elbow causing muscle straining at the origin (elbow) and inflammation of the surrounding tissues. Often, Lateral epicondylitis is the result of an instability somewhere else in the upper limb, usually a wrist injury or a shoulder instability, causing the forearm extensors to work harder to compensate.
What are the symptoms?
- Pain on the outside of the elbow and along forearm
- Aching in forearm
- Burning at elbow
- Weakness particularly opening bottles or jars
How long does it take to heal?
Healing time is dependent on a number of factors including how long the condition has been present for, occupation, activities and sports, compensation joints (eg. Shoulder instability or wrist injury), compliance and ability to rest from aggravating activities.
- Anywhere from 6-12+ weeks
What can you do to help it?
The causing of the tennis elbow must first be identified, and any other instabilities or existing injuries in the body. Booking an appointment with an Osteopath or Physiotherapist at Alpha Sports Medicine in Altona should be your first step.
Your Osteo or Physio can identify which body imbalances need to be corrected, start the healing process with some soft tissue massage and joint mobilisation, advise on some good quality and long term anti-inflammatory management, prescribe rehabilitation exercises and help to modify aggravating factors.
How can you help this from home?
Your Alpha Sports Medicine practitioner can advise you on some Tennis Elbow specific braces which can relieve the pressure of the elbow to enable you to continue work
There are some great relieving forearm stretches can encourage blood flow to the muscle tissue as well as giving some short term pain relief, like the one pictured below.