Tennis elbow is an overuse injury of the muscles attaching to the outer edge of the elbow.
Itís painful and limits activity. The condition is also known as lateral epicondylitis and wrist extensor tendonitis.
Possible causes of Tennis Elbow:
Repetitive wrist or elbow movements
Shock absorbing wrist movements
Poor racquet technique
Computer or keyboard use
Signs of Tennis Elbow:
Pain over the outside of the elbow, which worsens during activity
Pain on gripping objects
Pain twisting, e.g. turning door knobs or using a screwdriver
Pain when carrying heavy items
Treatment of Tennis Elbow
Rest may improve symptoms; however recurrence is common if treatment is not sought. The focus of physiotherapy treatment is to resolve the symptoms and prevent their recurrence. Treatment may include ultrasound, manual therapy, taping, stretches, ice and an exercise programme including shoulder strengthening exercises as well as postural and ergonomic advice. As the condition improves, there should be a gradual return to normal activities.
Anti-inflammatory drugs or painkillers or a combination of both may be recommended. A tennis elbow support worn just below the elbow reduces the load on the tendon and protects it during the healing process. If the pain persists, a corticosteroid injection to the affected area may be recommended. The effects of the
injection can last for up to three months, and although it may need to be repeated, you seldom need more than repeated, you seldom need more than two, or possibly three, injections. This treatment is normally more effective when administered in conjunction with physiotherapy.
Surgery is the last resort for cases of Tennis Elbow which do not respond to conservative treatment. A common surgical approach involves making an incision and removing damaged tissue from the tendon, shaving down the bone, and re-attaching the tendon.
Awareness of the cause is important ie. Check the grip size of the racquet, or the position of the mouse whilst working on the computer.
Check the Grip size- there should be a thumbs width between the thumb and the tips of the fingers.
Do not overgrip.
Relax grip between shots.
Make sure you swing well on the back hand to prevent jarring.
Do stretches of wrist and hand before playing.
Play less than 3 times per week. Give yourself a days rest between games.