Our practice provides physiotherapy care for elbow pain sufferers to the local areas of Sandhurst, Yateley and Fleet.
Elbow pain and injury respond favorably to physiotherapy intervention when early treatment is sought. An accurate diagnosis is vital to the correct management of your elbow pain. Elbow pain can be caused by local muscle, tendon or joint injury. Alternatively, elbow pain can be referred from your neck joints. It’s similar to sciatica of the upper limb.
Many elbow conditions can take many months or even years to heal when the diagnosis is incorrect or treatment is neglected early. Please do not delay in consulting your physiotherapist if you experience elbow pain.
What is Tennis Elbow?
Acute Tennis Elbow is an injury to the muscles that extend the wrist and fingers and is the most common elbow injury we see at Thorpes. The site of injury is typically the lateral epicondyle, a bony bump on the outside of the elbow where these muscles attach. Tennis Elbow symptoms that have lasted more than 6 weeks are considered to be sub-acute and beyond three months, as chronic tennis elbow.
What are Tennis Elbow Symptoms?
Typically the Tennis Elbow sufferer will experience pain when performing gripping tasks. Pain can also be present when the muscles are stretched. There will be tenderness directly over the bony epicondyle, and there may be tender points in the wrist muscles.Some sufferers will also have neck stiffness and tenderness, as well as signs of nerve irritation.
What Causes Acute Tennis Elbow?
Acute Tennis Elbow is caused by damaged muscle tissue at the point it anchors to the arm bone at the elbow. It occurs when more force is applied to an area than the normal healthy tissues can handle. Common Tennis Elbow Causes include:
- Unaccustomed hand use. eg painting a fence, hammering, lots of typing.
- Excessive gripping or wringing activities
- Poor forearm muscle strength or tight muscles
- Poor technique (this may be a poor tennis shot)
In some cases such as Chronic Tennis Elbow, this can occur due to the soft tissues being in poor health, which are easily injured. Inflammation follows the injury, which leads to swelling and elbow pain.
What Causes Chronic Tennis Elbow?
Chronic Tennis Elbow is associated with degenerative changes in the muscle tissues located at the epicondyle. Although for a long time this was thought to be related to inflammation from overuse, this is now known to be incorrect.
Tennis Elbow Treatment
Physiotherapy has been shown to be effective in the short and long-term management of tennis elbow. Physiotherapy treatment can include gentle mobilisation of your neck and elbow joints, electrotherapy, elbow kinesio taping, muscle stretches, neural mobilisations, massage and strengthening.
In some instances a tennis elbow brace may be beneficial. Your physiotherapist will discuss what treatment options are most suitable for you.
When Should You Use a Tennis Elbow Brace?
A tennis elbow brace can be very effective from the moment you put it on. In these instances, the brace will dissipate the stressful gripping forces away from your injured structures.
However, a tennis elbow brace does not work in 100% of cases. In our experience, we recommend that you seek physiotherapy assistance in these cases. In stubborn cases, you have a very high likelihood of referred symptoms from your neck
Only a thorough examination of your neck, shoulder, elbow and upper limb nerve structures will confirm your diagnosis and direct which treatment options will assist you the quickest.
For more advice about tennis elbow, please ask your physiotherapist.
How we can help you…
If you have sustained an injury to your elbow, or you would like some injury prevention advice call us on 01276 37670 or email firstname.lastname@example.org/thorpes