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Elbow Pain

What is Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)?



Tennis elbow is an injury that describes damage to a tendon (fibrous tissue connecting muscle to bone) that connects to the outside of your elbow (lateral epicondyle). The damage causes inflammation and irritation of the tendon.

What causes Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)?



The tendon that is injured is involved in movements where you straighten your wrist and fingers. You do not have to play tennis to get this injury, it can develop from activities that involve repetitive wrist extension against a force such as:

  • Painting, chopping wood, bricklaying, using a screwdriver, sewing, knitting, working at a computer, Activities that involve repetitive wrist extension against a force.
  • Sports such as tennis, squash, or badminton
  • A sudden increase in activities that place stress on the tendon ??? e.g. more painting to meet a deadline or more sport in preparation for a tournament.
  • One specific activity that puts excess force through the tendon ??? such as falling onto wrist.
  • It may also be caused by poor technique in sport ??? (tennis poor back hand technique).
A history of a wrist or elbow injury may increase the chances of you getting tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis).




Lateral epicondylitis is often reffered to as 'tennis elbow' and can cause discomfort on the outerside of the elbow from repetitive movements.Above: Lateral epicondylitis is often reffered to as 'tennis elbow' and can cause discomfort on the outerside of the elbow from repetitive movements.



What are the symptoms of Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)?

The symptoms of tennis elbow initially include:

  • An ache/pain over the outside of your elbow that increases or gets sharper during activity that involves wrist extension (Alike those listed in causes above).
  • Pain that is localised (in a specific area) about 2 cm from the bony lump on the outside of you elbow (lateral epicondyle).
  • Tenderness in this region.
  • Stiffness in your elbow that is worse in the morning.

How is Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) Diagnosed?



Our physiotherapists at Liverpool Physio can give you a full detailed examination to diagnose if you have Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis). MRI scans and ultrasounds are not usually necessary. For more information about how Physiotherapy can help treat tennis elbow, or to book an appointment, please email office@liverpoolphysio.co.uk or Call 0151 558 0077

What would a physiotherapy assessment for Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) involve?



In your first appointment at Liverpool Physio, your assessment would be divided into the below sections:

Subjective



A discussion to find out the cause of your injury, how long they have been persisting, if you have had any previous injuries in this area, what symptoms you are experiencing and how your injury is affecting you and your lifestyle.

Objective



An assessment of your range of pain, tenderness in the area, range of movement in your fingers, wrist, elbow and shoulder, and a series of special tests to identify if your injury is likely to be Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis).

What would physiotherapy treatment for Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) involve?



At Liverpool Physio we like to make sure that our patients receive a personalised treatment, tailored to their aims and interests. As part of this service, some of the treatments our experienced physiotherapists can provide you with are listed below:
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Electrotherapy ??? for pain relief and to encourage healing
  • Taping
  • Ice treatments
  • Heat treatments
  • Exercises ??? for flexibility, and strength
  • Advice on modifying activity to allow healing
  • Technique correction (to prevent reoccurrence)
  • Advice on pain relief
  • splinting
  • Development of a program to return you to your normal activity


How can I arrange a physiotherapy assessment for Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)?



If you are experiencing pain on the outside of your arm during activity and think the patterns of your pain is similar to the information provided, you may have tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) and you would benefit from seeing one of our physiotherapists at Liverpool Physio. You can contact us directly to arrange an assessment and we can advise you if further treatment is recommended, or give you details on self-management for minor cases. To arrange an appointment please email office@liverpoolphysio.co.uk or Call 0151 558 0077

Summary



Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is an injury that will persist without activity modification, treatment and advice. At Liverpool Physio, our physiotherapists have the skills to improve your symptoms through use of electrotherapy, taping and massage.

For more information about how Physiotherapy can help treat tennis elbow, or to book an appointment, please email office@liverpoolphysio.co.uk or Call 0151 558 0077

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