Tennis elbow, known clinically as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition that causes pain on the outside of the elbow. It is a very common musculoskeletal condition, usually affecting adults between the ages of 40-60 years.


What causes TENNIS ELBOW?

elbow-painTennis elbow is usually an overuse condition, caused by stressing the muscles which attach to the bony part of the elbow (lateral epicondyle) leading to inflammation and tiny tears. The muscles and tendons which are strained are responsible for straightening the wrist and fingers so activities which involve straightening the wrist can lead to tennis elbow, particularly if you are not used to doing them or have suddenly increased the amount of time you spend doing them.


I don’t play tennis, how can I have TENNIS ELBOW?

Although tennis (and other racquet sports such as squash and badminton) are linked to tennis elbow, there are many other activities which involve overusing your forearm muscles which may lead to the condition. These include:

  • Manual work such as bricklaying or plumbing
  • Gardening
  • Decorating or DIY
  • Activities involving repetitive movements at the wrist and hands such as typing


How can I treat my TENNIS ELBOW?

Tennis elbow will usually get better with or without treatment, however research suggests that this could take up to two years. There are many things that you can do to help speed up the healing process

  • REST – avoid the activities which aggravate or caused your initial symptoms
  • ICE – apply ice or something cool to the bony bit of your elbow to reduce pain and inflammation
  • PAINKILLERS – taking medication to control the pain and inflammation. If you are unsure what to take, consult your GP or pharmacist
  • PHYSIOTHERAPY – a physiotherapist will conduct a thorough assessment to diagnose the condition and identify any underlying issues. They will then use a variety of treatments including, but not limited to, massage, acupuncture, manipulation and stretches and strengthening exercises to treat the symptoms


Where can I go to get more information about TENNIS ELBOW?

Call Emma James Physio on 01442 870686 or visit our website where our Chartered Physiotherapists will be happy to help you.

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