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Tennis Elbow

March 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Joints, Physiotherapy, Summer Ailments

Summer tends to encourage us all to hit the sun drenched tennis courts. Unfortunately, it also means that it’s the time of year for tennis related injuries.

One of the most common is tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), a pain on the outside of the elbow, which can radiate down into the forearm. This involves a sprain of the tendons of the forearm where they attach onto the bony ridge on the outside of the elbow. It can cause the local tendon tissue to degenerate and may have an inflammatory reaction.  This can be a stubborn problem resulting in long lasting symptoms, which are resistant to treatment and, it can be brought on by any activity involving gripping, digging, hammering or even carrying a heavy case.

New research suggests that the nerve system can play a major role in this condition and often the pain is referred from the neck and upper back and has associated sensory symptoms such as burning, pins and needles and numbness.  It can be persistent and unpredictable.

Irritation of this system can be caused by bad postures and unhelpful movement patterns sometimes related to poor ergonomics at work.

Cases of tennis elbow directly related to playing the sport have many possible causes including poor tennis training methods (especially incorrect backhand technique or excess wrist flicking during service), unsuitable rackets (often too heavy), wrong grip sizes (often too small), incorrect string tension and ball weight. Treatment may involve local electrotherapy, massage, acupuncture, stretching, exercising and strapping, which when applied appropriately can reverse the local mechanical degeneration and decrease the inflammatory changes. More importantly, therapists will also assess the patient’s total body posture.

Also, advice will be given to correct bad ergonomics at work and sports specific requirements will be considered. With appropriate holistic assessment and treatment from our Physiotherapists you will all enjoy a long, hot, pain free summer playing the game you love.

Our Physiotherapists here are trained to treat all types of sports injuries and get them better as quickly as possible.  Don’t forget that treatment shortens the healing process and gets you back to your game as soon as possible.