What is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis Elbow, also known as Lateral Epicondylitis is one of the most common causes of pain in the elbow. It is a condition affecting the bony prominence at the outside of the elbow, and area where many tendons attach. It is considered to be an overuse injury. That means it is usually not caused by one single incident but builds up over time due to certain repetitive movements. The patient is usually unaware of the aggravating movement but will begin to notice pain associated with gripping and lifting which seems to come have come from nowhere and worsens with time.
Contrary to what the name suggests, this condition is not just associated with tennis. It is often seen in people who work with computers or small tools. It is also common in gym-goers and other athletes.
Signs & symptoms of Tennis Elbow
- localised tenderness at the outside of the elbow
- Pain/difficulty with gripping activities, such as:
- shaking hands
- opening jars
- opening door knobs
- Difficulty lifting in certain positions e.g carrying heavy bags of shopping might feel fine but pouring water from the kettle may cause significant pain.
Tennis Elbow is a condition which can be effectively treated with Physiotherapy. Following assessment and arriving at a diagnosis of Lateral Epicondylitis, your physiotherapist will discuss your treatment plan. This usually involves progressive loading exercises which will assist in recovery and prevent recurrence. Pain relieving strategies may also be implemented in the early stages. This may include manual therapy and/or taping. Depending on the level of pain and inflammation experienced, a visit to the GP may be required. Your physiotherapist will advise you on this.