Give lateral epicondylitis the elbow!
Have you been suffering with pain at the elbow?
Have you been told you have tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis? Are you confused by this condition?
Senior BOOST PHYSIO Tyrone Kon explains a little about tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis.
Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is a common injury causing pain on the outside of the elbow. It is a chronic inflammation of a tendon on the outside of the elbow. Pain is usually experienced 1-2cm down from the bony aspect on the outside of the elbow (lateral epicondyle). Pain and weakness can be experienced with simple tasks such as twisting your door key or squeezing the petrol pump or even shaking hands.
- Pain when pressing just below the bony point on the outside of the elbow ( lateral epicondyle)
- Pain on the outside of the elbow when bending the hand back against resistance
- Pain on the outside of the elbow when trying to straighten your middle or ring fingers against resistance
It is important to recognise that other injuries have similar symptoms to tennis elbow such as entrapment of the radial nerve. It is also important to have your neck examined as the neck can refer pain to the elbow. A physiotherapist or your GP can assist in this.
Unfortunately tennis elbow is notorious for being a stubborn and persistent problem. Tennis elbow usually responds quickly and well to physiotherapy treatment when dealt with soon after onset. Often, though, patients suffer with it for many months before coming for physiotherapy treatment and advice at which point the problem is more difficult to get rid of.
There are many treatments for tennis elbow. At BOOST PHYSIO we always aim to treat the cause of the problem, which with tennis elbow is often weak wrist extensor muscles. BOOST PHYSIO treatment always involves addressing this issue and other root causes together with reducing the symptoms of pain at the elbow. Some of our treatments physiotherapist can include:
- Ultrasound & Interferential
- Soft tissue massage
- Exercises- see the 3 key exercises we recommend here
- Appropriate rest from aggravating activities
- Tennis elbow strap (Epiclasp)
Treatment from your doctor can include:
- Non steroidal anti-inflammatories
- Cortisone injections
- Plasma rich protein injections
- See what Sports Physician Dr Cath Spencer-Smith says about tennis elbow here.
Physiotherapy provides effective treatment for tennis elbow. See the three key exercises to get your self management of tennis elbow started and get yourself booked in to see a physiotherapist.