Tennis elbow is the term given to the pain around the outside of the elbow. Its medical term is lateral epicondylopahty. Although this injury is very common within tennis players, it isn’t always caused by playing tennis.
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow
The main symptoms are –
· You may feel pain on the outside of your upper forearm, below your elbow
· Pain will occur when fully extending your arm/elbow
· Twisting your forearm
· When gripping an object
· When lifting or bending your arm
Causes of Tennis Elbow
Tennis Elbow is usually caused by the overuse of the muscles and tendons attached to your elbow, if the muscles and tendons are strained, tears and inflammation can appear near the outside of your elbow, causing you pain.
Tennis elbow usually occurs from any activity that puts the elbow under repeated stress. Tennis, decorating and playing violin are activities that can contribute to the injury. Poor muscle strength or tight muscles and soft tissue within the forearm being in poor health can cause the injury to occur.
Tennis Elbow can go away without treatment, but the range of recovery time can be anywhere between six months to two years. Physiotherapy treatment can speed up your recovery time along with help relieving the pain/stiffness and improving the range of movement in your arm. Painkillers can also help with reducing mild pain – paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen) can help. When you visit your GP, they will refer patients to receive physiotherapy in most cases of tennis elbow (lateral epicondylopahty).
Preventing tennis elbow can be difficult, but it can be prevented. This includes avoiding putting too much stress on your elbows - if your tennis elbow is caused from an activity such as tennis, changing your technique may prevent the injury in the future.
Who does it affect?
Tennis elbow affects 40% of all tennis players, 15% of people working in repetitive manual trades, sufferers can be affected at any age, but most people aged 35-50 are affected and affects men and women equally.
We suggest getting in touch with a physiotherapist as soon as symptoms occur to give you the best chance of recovery.