Tennis Elbow and Its Treatment
Tennis elbow is a pain focused on the outside of the arm, where your forearm meets your elbow.
It’s related to a muscle and tendons in your forearm tendons connect your muscles to your bones. When you constantly use your arm in a repeated motion, the tendons (Extensor) at the elbow and of a certain muscle, the Extensor Carpi radials Brevis (ECRB) muscle may develop small tear. Tears can lead to inflammation and may put stress on rest of your arm, making it painful to lift or grip things.
In tennis, hitting a backhand puts some stress on your forearm muscles, which repeatedly contract when you hit the ball. If you have poor technique or grip the racket too tightly, that stress may increase in the tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the elbow. The tendon may get small tears.
In other conditions, such as tree cutting, painting, carpentry, playing some types of musical instruments, butchers, cooks and other activities which involve repetitive arm motions which result in discomfort while moving the arm and pain over the outside of elbow.
‘Tennis elbow is one of the most well known tennis injuries yet its name is deceiving. This common elbow problem probably affects as many non-tennis players as it does tennis players’
Tennis elbow: Fact & Myths
Ø You only get it from playing tennis- wrong
Ø You can’t do anything about it- wrong
Ø It is due to the muscles and tendon unit: ECRB
Ø You can get it better easily.
Ø Physiotherapy is more helpful than cortisone injection
Ø Pain can be referred from the neck, shoulder or elbow joint itself so it is important to rule out.
Ø Most commonly affects the dominant arm and move common between 35-54 years of age.
Ø The average duration of a typical episode is between 6 months and 2 years.
What can be done to help?
Simple self help treatments can often be enough to clear up a mild case of tennis elbow. Most cases will ease within about 2 weeks. The first thing you can do to help is to identify and adapt any movements that may be causing your symptoms. So if you feel your pain when you do something, try and find a different way of doing it.
Role of Physiotherapy
if your elbow is pain is affecting your activity and is persisting you would benefit from seeing a physiotherapy. We can help you to manage pain and improve your strength and flexibility. Improve your strength and flexibility. Importantly, we will help you identify what exactly has caused the problem and find ways to modify what you do to prevent it happening again. Tennis elbow is an overuse injury, so if you don’t address the root of the problem, it can become a long term issue.
We can use a variety of treatments- including DN ultrasound, hands on techniques and tailed exercises. We will help you understand your problem & get you back doing what you love to do. we may recommend an epicondylitis clasp, which can help reduce the strain on your elbow if you need to make repetitive hand and elbow movements, for example while you’ve working. This can ease the discomfort in your forearm some exercises can be done which will help if you’ve suffering with tennis elbow…………
Here are some exercises:
1 Wrist turn
Bend your elbow at a right angle and hold out our hand and palm up . Turn your wrist slowly so that your palm is now facing down. Hold for 5 seconds and then slowly release. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
2 Wrist turn with weights
Repeat the above exercises while holding a light weight. (E.g. a tin of beans)
3 Wrist flex
Keeping your arm straight in front with your palm facing down, gently bend your wrist down. Use the opposite hand to press the stretching (hand back towards) your body and hold for 15-30 seconds. Straighten your wrist. Gently bend the stretching hand backwards and use the opposite hand pull the fingers back. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Do 3 sets with each wrist.
4 Fist bench
Ø Long flexor tendons of finger & thumb
Poor grip strength is a common symptoms of tennis elbow. Improving grip strength by building the muscles of the forearm can help improve ability to perform daily activity.
Ø Extensions tendons of fingers & thumb
Sit at a table with your forearm resting on the table. Hold a rolled up towel or small ball in your hand. Squeeze the ball in your hand for 10 seconds. Release and repeat 10 times. Switch & do the other arm.
5 Supination with a dumbbell
Sit in the chair holding a2 pound weight vertically in your hand with your elbow resting on your knee. Let the weight of the dumbbell help rotate the arm outward turning the palm up. Keep your upper arm & elbow still. Repeat 20 times on each side.
6 Wrist extension and flexion with weights
Ø Sit on the chair resting you elbow on your knees or table. Take around 2 pound weight in your hand. Now extend (take up) your wrist curling is challenging do it without weight and vice-versa in flexion.
Ø Towel twisting will also improve your symptoms twist the towel in opposite direction & repeat it for 10 times in each direction.
These exercises will help strengthening your muscles and even relieving.
Non- Surgical treatment includes:-
Ø Bracing/ compression
Ø Steroid injections
First step in heating tennis elbow are reducing inflammation and resting the irritated muscles and tendons. Ice and compression may also help reduce inflammation and pain once inflammation subsides you can begin gentle exercises to strengthen the muscles of the forearm and prevent recurrence. Be sure that you are doing the exercises correctly under proper supervision.