Tennis elbow refers to pain on the outside of the elbow. It occurs commonly amongst tennis players and hence its name, but it also occurs through many other activities.It fits under the classification of a group of disorders known as tendinopathies which is another way of saying ‘tendon disorder’. The majority of tendinopathies are degenerative tendinopathies, which means that the tendon has undergone degenerative changes. These changes are more common as we age and are often present without pain, but can be made painful by excessive activity. Tendon pain sometimes occurs for no obvious reason.
Causes of Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow is typically caused from excessive activity although normal daily use or even a hard bump to the elbow can sometimes cause it. These injuries usually result from repetitive movements. Examples include:
- Excessive gripping (like holding a tennis racquet or using gardening shears)
- Repetitive lifting, bricklaying
- Playing golf or tennis
- Advanced physio treatment
Treatment of Tennis Elbow depends on a number of factors and will have a variable prognosis depending upon:
- How the injury occurred
- Your ability to rest the elbow and wrist from aggravating activities
- How long the condition has been around
- The health of your tendons
- How dedicated you are to your exercises
- Your age and general health
Our experience shows that an effectively designed exercise program is the cornerstone of successful treatment. The time to recover will vary with tennis elbow. Treatment frequently requires a short period of rest followed by an exercise program of around twelve weeks. Initially your Advanced Physio’s qualified physiotherapists will design a tailored recovery program, all the while monitoring your progress. For long-term benefits, we recommend that the exercises continue for several months following treatment.
A period of rest from the aggravating activities is usually required. Medical treatment such as Glyceryl trinitrate patches may be used in some situations.
Our qualified physiotherapist will work with your General Practitioner to discuss the best options including alternatives such as braces or supports that can be used to decrease feeling of discomfort. Although these supports are generally safe, sometimes their effect are difficult to predict and are therefore stringently monitored by our qualified physiotherapists.
Advanced Physio’s treatment for Tennis elbow takes between 3-6 months and rarely requires surgical management.