Physiotherapist Treatment and Management of Tennis Elbow
” I’ve got Tennis Elbow but I Don’t Play Tennis…”
And what did I do? …
The generic name given to pain felt on the outside of the elbow is ‘Tennis Elbow’. The word tennis elbow is a misnomer, as the problem in the forearm tendons is actually a problem, and not everybody who develops the condition plays tennis! In general, Tennis Elbow grows overtime slowly, as the disorder itself is an injury of overuse that contributes to tendon degeneration. It is usually due to unnecessary extension of the hand, either at work or in sport. If you are looking for more tips, check out Physiotherapy in marrickville.
But what exactly does my diagnosis mean?
In general, Tennis Elbow occurs due to repetitive loading in wrist extension of the forearm muscles. The tendon will break down if continued loading occurs, and grow micro tears and scarring. This adds to the suffering that is felt in the forearm. The repeated loading does not have to be anything drastic in certain instances. Many office staff, for example, suffer from this complaint after using their mouse in a bad position with their hand.
What am I supposed to do?
Step 1: Damage Control ACUTE MANAGEMENT (0 DAYS – 1-2 WEEKS). Rest: Try not to do tasks that aggravate the problem. If you can not prevent them, change them to solve the problem. You will be given advice from your physiotherapist on how to do this. Ice: mostly for pain and any secondary inflammation to be resolved; 15-20 minutes, 2-3 times a day. Compression: The amount of force across the affected tendon may be decreased by using a particular brace, which reduces pain. Strive for care.
Step 2: SUB-ACUTE MANAGEMENT The purpose of treatment is to allow the dysfunctional tendon to heal and to restore strength to the affected forearm as pain starts to subside and becomes less of a problem. The modality used by the physiotherapist at this stage would be manual therapy. In addition, an exercise regimen that will aim at strengthening the forearm in a way that you might not have seen before – called eccentric strengthening – will be implemented to complete the repair process.
Step 3: RETURN TO NORMAL FUNCTION Ideally, much of the pain will have been healed at this point. With advice from your physiotherapist, it is then a matter of returning to normal function in order not to return to an activity too quickly that sets you backwards, i.e. reaggravates the issue. It is also necessary to examine the behaviors you have been doing that could, in the first place, have led to the pain and ensure that any defective techniques are corrected. The strength program and physiotherapy instruction will continue until success without pain is reached if returning to sport is desired. At this point, technique adjustment can also play a role.