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What is Tennis Elbow? And what can I do about it?

Posted Aug 14th, 2019 in Conditions & Treatment, Summer Sports Injuries

Tennis elbow results from repetitive stress of the wrist extensors, which causes pain in the elbow or forearm and can cause inflammation.

How do I know if what I'm feeling is Tennis Elbow or something else?

The location of the pain associated with Tennis Elbow typically radiates from the outside of the elbow to the forearm and wrist.

Most often, the feeling is a dull, achy pain on the outside of the elbow area, and, when irritated a radiating feeling down into the forearm and hand.

The pain from Tennis Elbow usually flares after activity and repetitive use of the arm.

Signs that you may have Tennis Elbow are when you have difficulty with the following:

  • Turning a doorknob
  • Shaking hands
  • Holding a coffee cup
  • Gripping an object
  • Typing or writing

How does Tennis Elbow only happen to tennis players?

Contrary to what the name suggests, Tennis Elbow is not only from playing tennis. It can occur as a result of any repetitive movements like golfing, painting, cooking, typing, etc.

What type of treatment is recommended for Tennis Elbow?

Your physiotherapist can help with more detail on how to treat Tennis Elbow, but here are a few starter thoughts:

The initial goals are to reduce pain, decrease inflammation, and reduce irritation by minimizing the movements or habits that are causing the pain. Simply put, if it hurts, stop doing it!

Then, when the pain is under control, we may suggest one or more of the following:

  • Stretching
  • Soft tissue massage to release of muscles
  • Acupuncture & dry needling
  • Strengthening exercises – like the Tyler Twist* – focussing on tendon repair
  • Wearing an elbow brace use to help protect and heal the affected tissue (The Band-IT brace is our favourite!)
*The “Tyler Twist” is a simple exercise designed to relieve pain caused by tennis elbow.

Think you may have Tennis Elbow?

The key with treating Tennis Elbow is to catch it early, before repetitive movements cause further irritation and damage. If you'd like some professional advice, we invite you to contact us.

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