Tennis elbow is an extremely common condition in the sportsperson, office worker and manual worker. In fact it can arise in anyone who dramatically increases the amount they use their arm over a short period (e.g. a weekend of gardening or cleaning windows).
The main problem is in the tendon (tendinosis) of the muscles that move the wrist; this involves a disruption of the fibres in the tendon which inserts into the bone on the outside of the elbow. In 50% of cases of tennis elbow there is also nerve involvement which varies in individual cases. Sometimes this nerve irritation is caused by a problem in the neck so don’t be surprised if the Physiotherapist examines your neck as well as your arm.
To be maximally effective, treatment for tennis elbow may include any of the following;
- Soft tissue manipulation to reduce spasm (trigger points) in the muscles of the forearm.
- Specific exercises to progressively stress the tendon causing it to remodel and strengthen.
- Exercises to mobilise the nerve of the arm to improve its ability to move within the tissues of the arm
- Education regarding technique and equipment (especially racquet sports)
- Education regarding braces, taping and supports.
- Manual treatment to the joints of the neck and upper back.
- Soft tissue mobilisation.
Is much the same as Tennis elbow but it is the tendon on the inside of the elbow that is affected. It is treated in the same way as Tennis elbow.