Tennis Elbow is the lay man term for Lateral Epicondylopathy or Common Extensor Tendinopathy. The Tendon starts at the outside of the elbow and inserts onto the fingers. The movement that is created by this muscle and tendon is gripping and extending the wrist.
Tennis Elbow is a degenerative process (What is Tendinopathy?). It happens gradually over time. It is common in raquet sports, painters, carpenters and desk based workers. Typically symptoms include pain around the outside of the elbow, local swelling, pain on moving, in particular, holding a cup, turning a key etc. or at rest.
Avoiding aggravating factors is important to help the tendon to heal. Tendinopathies heal best when they are loaded, but it must be the correct type and amount of load. Too much and the tendon will become painful, too little and the tendon will not respond.
A thorough History and Physical Examination by your Chartered Physiotherapist will determine the likelihood of a Tennis Elbow Injury. If the examination shows an obvious Tendinopathy then a series of exercises and advice will be prescribed. These exercises will be progressive in nature to help the healing process. Shockwave Therapy should be considered in the case of a Tennis Elbow. All loading protocols are research based and proven to be effective in the management of Tendinopathy.
Following your Initial Consultation, a strict set of exercises as per our Tennis Elbow Protocol will help in a full return to sports and pain free daily activities. The protocol consists of progressive loading for the tendon to aid healing.
MyPhysio’s thoughts on Tennis Elbow
As with all injuries, our Chartered Physiotherapists consider strength and mobility throughout the body not just where the pain is. In the case of Tennis Elbow, perhaps poor Shoulder stability will be contributing. All these issues will be addressed at your Initial Consultation. With all Tennis Elbow injuries an elbow support is required to help offload the painful tendon.
Controlling load is key. Load meaning; How much gripping/holding your are doing during the day. Desk based jobs where a mouse is used all day will require some ergonomic advice to take pressure off the tendon. It may sound pedantic but controlling as many variables as possible will ensure you have the best chance to recover.
If you have any queries regarding Tennis Elbow, please ‘Ask the Expert’.