If you were recently diagnosed with Tennis Elbow, (also known as Lateral Epicondylitis) are not a tennis player, and are a little bit confused as to why, don’t worry. This is a question I am frequently asked as a Physiotherapist here at AHI, and the answer is that you don’t have to play tennis to get tennis elbow.
How did I get it?
Tennis elbow is mostly an overuse injury of the forearm extensor muscles, specifically where these muscles merge into tendons at the outside of your elbow. In most cases, a sudden force or repetitive wrist extension can cause this injury. If you are a tennis player, most often the grip used for your backhand can be the cause. For non-tennis players long hours spent at your desk, typing and using your mouse can be the initiating factor. Click here; http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00068 to read more about elbow anatomy and injury.
Signs & Symptoms
Common signs and symptoms can include: an aching pain to the outer aspect of your elbow, aggravated with wrist extension (the motion required to rev a motorcycle engine or using a screwdriver). In some cases you may find increased pain at night, morning stiffness and weak grip strength limited by pain.
If you are just starting to feel the pain, the best treatment at onset is to avoid the aggravating activity (rest) and ice. If this does not alleviate your symptoms, physiotherapy can help you heal properly and quickly. Effective physiotherapy treatment for tennis elbow involves pain management, soft tissue mobilization, strengthening, stretching, and possible taping or bracing to assist in unloading the strain on your injured muscles. Your physiotherapist can also provide you with strategies to avoid re-injury and self-treatment during flare-ups.