What is a tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow, also called as “lateral epicondylitis” is common condition caused by repetitive use of the muscles of the forearm. It is an overuse injury that is primarily the result of overuse injuries brought on by the repetitive motions which involves heavy gripping or the wrist extension. As the name says, tennis elbow is a common condition in tennis, badminton players. According to the previous studies, tennis elbow typically stays between six months to two years. However, 90% of the patients recover fully within or less than one year.
The most common symptoms of tennis elbow are pain and tenderness on the lateral side of your elbow. A person complains of pain while completely extending the elbow or on activities which involves holding objects.
How physiotherapy helps?
The main aim of the physiotherapist is to increase the strength of the forearm muscles making it more flexible with exercises. Physiotherapy aids in enhancing blood supply to the tendons which do not often receive sufficient oxygen as the muscles do.
For pain relief: To reduce the pain, gentle ice massage over the painful areas helps. Wrap the ice cubes/icepack in a towel and gently massage on the painful area in a circular motion.
Braces/Tape: Braces or taping will help by supporting the elbow joint. Taping also helps in increasing the blood flow. It also decreases the pressure and helps in creating the fascial manipulations to reduce the pain.
Manual Therapy: This includes few hands-on tissue manipulation techniques.
Exercises/Stretching: Few exercises like bicep curl, wrist curl, wrist rotations help in strengthening the muscles. Wrist and finger stretching has also proven beneficial for tennis elbow.
Shock wave therapy: Extracorporeal shock wave therapy helps in reducing the severity of pain and also helps in improving daily activities.
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Blog post written by Saloni Jawle, Registered Physiotherapist.