By Nic Andrews, Assistant Physiotherapist at Woollahra Physiotherapy
Tendonopathy of the elbow (more commonly referred to as “tennis elbow”) is a painful overuse injury that affects the outside (or “lateral aspect”) of the elbow. In your elbow, there is a common extensor tendon which attaches a group of muscles from your forearm to your humerus.
As pictured above, this condition occurs when there is damage to the common extensor tendon.
As suggested by the colloquial name, Tennis Elbow, a common cause of this overuse injury is participation in tennis or other racquet sports. The repetitive motion of tennis shots is often an inflammatory factor for pain experienced with this condition . However, the injury can be caused by any contractile load on the extensor tendon such as excessive computer use, heavy weight lifting or repetitive vibration. The injury affects 1-3% of the population, with people aged 35-50 most at risk.
So, how can you tell if you have tennis elbow?
It’s important to consult your chosen Physiotherapist if you experience any of the following symptoms:
o Pain a couple of hours after aggravating activity
o Pain immediately after provocative activity
o Pain during the provocative activity
o Constant pain prohibiting activity
o Radiating pain down the forearm
o Difficulty with grip
If you experience these symptoms it is crucial that you see your Physiotherapist for professional assessment and classification of injury.
The good news….
Approximately 80-95% of people will experience successful recovery without surgery. However, early intervention is paramount in avoiding surgical outcomes.
There are many treatment options for lateral epicondylitis - strengthening exercises and stretches have proven success rates. It is best to consult your Physiotherapist for a individualised program that will be most effective for YOU.
At Woollahra Physiotherapy we utilise the Physitrack App, which allows our Physiotherapists to design and create unique programs that are made available to you on your smartphone and allows our Physiotherapists to track your adherence and responses to the exercises.
Some exercises that may assist you are pictured below but it is always best to consult with your Physiotherapist before commencing any rehabilitation exercises.
Please feel free to contact us on (02) 9362 9765 to book an appointment or you can book online.