Lateral epicondylitis, or as it is commonly referred to“tennis elbow” is an overuse injury caused by inflammation at the elbow, where the tendons of the forearm extensor muscles insert into the humerus.
Repetitive movements such as gripping tools or a racquet cause stress to be placed on these tendons, which may result in small tears in these soft tissue structures.
Some of the symptoms of tennis elbow include:
- Pain in the elbow joint, especially when straightening the arm
- Dull ache when at rest
- Pain when opening the fingers
- Soreness around the affected elbow
- Weak grip
- Difficulties and pain when trying to grasp objects, especially with the arm stretched out.
A range of causes
Some events that may contribute to elbow injuries include:
- Lack of strength or flexibility in the forearm muscles
- Lack of strength in the shoulder muscles
- Instability of the elbow joint
- Poor technique during sporting activities (especially tennis and golf) that puts too much strain on the elbow joint
- Inappropriate sporting equipment, such as using a heavy tennis racquet or having the wrong sized grip on a tennis racquet or golf club
- Repetitive movements of the hands and arms, such as working on an assembly line
- Continuously making the muscles and joint take heavy loads
- Other factors such as neck symptoms or nerve irritation
How your Elite Myotherapist can help
- Soft tissue massage
- Dry needling
- Joint mobilisation
- Flexibility and strengthening exercises prescribed by your Elite Myotherapist
- Electrotherapy modalities such as TENS
Preventative strategies and ongoing management
- Soft tissue treatment to ensure your forearm muscles are not working under strain.
- Do strengthening exercises with hand weights – your Myotherapist can prescribe the correct exercises for you.
- Regularly stretch relevant muscles before beginning any potentially stressful activity. Your Myotherapist can prescribe the correct exercises for you.
- Application of ice after completing tasks that work the forearm muscles.
- Avoid or modify tasks that put excessive pressure on muscles of the forearm.