What is it?
Tennis elbow is the term used to describe a tendinopathy of the wrist extensor muscles at their attachment point on the outside of the elbow (Lateral Elbow Tendinopathy). This condition usually, but not always comes on following a period of “overload”, often involving lots of gripping tasks, e.g. using shears in the garden or lifting lots of boxes/bags or from sports involving gripping a racquet or stick.
The activity that causes the overload of the elbow results in irritation of the tendon of the wrist extensors producing pain in the elbow.
What do we do about it?
Firstly, consulting with one of the SquareOne Physiotherapy team is important to give you an accurate diagnosis. This will also involve ruling out any other potential causes of your elbow pain to set you on the appropriate pathway for management.
Tennis elbow can be highly irritable with severe symptoms in some patients. This can affect the ability to complete not only sporting activities, but also normal daily activities. The best course of treatment is to progressively strengthen the tendon and its associated muscles.
Your Physiotherapist will be able to guide you through an exercise program that often starts very basic, however these exercises lay the important foundation in helping to reduce pain levels. Taping and massage are also often a great treatment to be used in conjunction with exercise-based treatment programs.
Where possible, movements that aggravate your elbow pain is important to help with settling down the pain levels as a primary goal.
How long will this take to get better?
Unfortunately, there is no straight forward answer to this question and there are a few different factors that will determine how long it takes to resolve. Your physiotherapist will be able to complete a thorough assessment including some outcome measures that give an idea on how long your condition may take to get better however a period of around twelve weeks of strength work is required as a minimum in most cases. Tennis Elbow can be very fickle and will take time, patience and trust in the rehabilitation process in order for it to get better.
If you are suffering from pain in your elbow and suspect you might have tennis elbow, make an appointment to see our Physio team so that you can get back to playing what you love. Book Appointment HERE