Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is an extremely common injury that originally got its name because it is a frequent tennis injury, appearing in a large proportion of tennis players. Nevertheless it commonly manifests in a vast proportion of people who do not play tennis at all.  Lateral epicondylitis occurs most commonly in the tendon of the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle at approximately 2cm below the outer edge of the elbow joint or lateral epicondyle of the humerus bone.

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

  • Pain about 1-2 cm down from bony area at the outside of the elbow (lateral epicondyle)
  • Weakness in the wrist or forearm even with simple tasks such as opening a door handle or shaking hands with someone.
  • Pain on the outside of the elbow when the wrist is extended against resistance.
  • Pain when pressing, just below the lateral epicondyle on the outside of the elbow..

Causes of Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is often caused by overuse or repetitive strain caused by repeated extension (bending back) of the wrist against resistance. This may be from activities such as tennis, badminton or squash but is also common after periods of excessive wrist use in day-to-day life

  • A poor backhand technique in tennis.
  • A racket grip that is too small.
  • Strings that are too tight.
  • Playing with wet, heavy balls.
  • Repetitive activities such as using a screwdriver, painting or typing.

Tennis elbow treatment

No single treatment has been shown to be totally effective, however a combination of the treatments below are known to resolve tennis elbow over time. Each individual will react differently to different treatments.

  • Apply ice or cold therapy to the elbow (15 mins up to six times a day)
  • Rest - an extremely important component in the healing of this injury.

Our sports therapy might involve:

  • Rule out neural (nerve) involvement
  • Apply ultrasound or laser treatment to help reduce pain and inflammation as well as stimulate healing.
  • Wear a brace or support to protect the tendon whilst healing and strengthening.
  • Use manual treatments such as massage therapy, myofacial release and/or transverse friction techniques across the tendon
  • Try acupuncture which has been shown to be extremely effective for tennis elbow.
  • Advise on rehabilitation to return the athlete to full fitness.
  • Provide advice on neural stretching exercises if nerve tissue involvement is suspected
  • As with all soft tissue injuries a comprehensive>rehabilitation program should be carried out.

Streetsville Acupuncture - Mississauga

Port Credit Acupuncture - Mississauga