Tennis Elbow aka Lateral Epicondylitis

Do you have pain on the outside of your elbow? You may have tennis elbow, and no, you do not need to be a tennis player to get this condition!

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition involving inflammation or microscopic tears in one of the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the bone on the outside of your elbow. 

What Does Tennis Elbow Feel Like?

-Pain or a burning sensation at the outside of your elbow, which can radiate down the back of your forearm

-Sharp pain when using your forearm muscles e.g. when gripping things, using the computer mouse, carrying things, opening jars, turning the steering wheel, turning door knobs

-Weakness when gripping things

-Elbow stiffness

What Can Cause or Increase the Risk of Getting Tennis Elbow?

-Sports and jobs involving repetitive use of the forearm muscles e.g. tennis players, plumbers, carpenters, butchers, desk workers

-Sudden increase in activities requiring the forearm muscles

-Having an improper workstation setup can also increase the risk of developing tennis elbow, as it can encourage poor wrist and elbow positioning

Treatment Options:

Conservative Treatment

-Rest from activities that aggravate the pain

-Tennis elbow brace: if certain activities can’t be avoided, you may benefit from wearing a tennis elbow brace during these activities 

-Ice: placing an ice pack wrapped in cloth over the outside of your elbow can help to reduce pain

-Adjust your workspace if needed: your workspace may need to be adjusted (such as the height of your desk, or the distance between you and the desk and computer mouse)

-Change or adjust your racquet if needed: if you play a racquet sport, your racquet may need to be replaced or adjusted 

-Osteopathy or other form of physical therapy

-There are other non-surgical treatment options available including shockwave therapy, platelet rich plasma injections and corticosteroid injections

How can Your Osteopath Help with Tennis Elbow?

-Your Osteopath can use modalities such as soft tissue massage, joint articulation, cupping and needling to assist with healing

-They will assess and treat other areas of the body that may be contributing to the issue

-They can give you advice on how to modify your activities and workspace if needed

-Your Osteopath can show you exercises to assist with relieving the pain, and to strengthen your forearm muscles, to allow them to tolerate daily activities and sports and prevent the issue from recurring 

Surgical Treatment

If your symptoms don’t respond to non-surgical treatment, your doctor or osteopath may recommend surgical treatment.

How Long Does Tennis Elbow Last?

Recovery from Tennis Elbow is usually a lengthy process. Most cases improve over several months of conservative treatment, however some cases can take longer, especially if it is reaggravated.

Tennis elbow can be very frustrating and debilitating. If you are experiencing elbow pain or discomfort, don’t let it get in the way of your life any longer. Our team at take2health would love to help you. You can book an appointment online, or give us a call on 9363 4100.