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Pain on the outside of your elbow?

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What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow (also known as lateral epicondylitis or lateral epicondylalgia) is an irritation or weakness of the wrist extensor tendon that attaches to the outside portion of the elbow. The wrist extensors are responsible for lifting the wrist upwards, similar to a tennis backhand, and are active while gripping items.

What causes tennis elbow?

The condition is not only found in tennis players, but is commonly caused by repetitive activities that involve heavy gripping and use of the wrist and hand. If the wrist extensor tendon can’t handle the repetitive load that is placed through it, it can become irritated and possibly weakened which leads to pain. Tennis elbow is most commonly seen in people aged 30-50, and approximately 40% of people experience tennis elbow in their lifetime.

How do we treat tennis elbow?

There are a number of different treatment methods that may alleviate pain from tennis elbow which include;
● Rest or activity modification
● Ice
● Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
● Massage and manipulation
● Dry needling
● Tennis elbow taping or bracing

These treatment methods are great to reduce pain in the short-term, however it is vital that they are used in conjunction with a structured exercise program. Exercises to strengthen the wrist extensor muscles and common tendon are important to prevent pain from returning once you return to the activities that can cause pain. This includes sport such as tennis or manual labor which involves repetitive use of the wrist and hand. An exercise program for tennis elbow would normally involve a progressive resistance training program which would include lifting weights and using resistance bands. If you have been experiencing elbow pain as a result of sport or work, make sure you book in with one of our physios to get you started on an in-depth rehab program to get you back on track.

 


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