Tennis elbow, or lateral elbow pain, is a common overuse injury that can occur for many reasons. It occurs in athletes, manual workers, desk workers, and other people whose activities of daily living involve a lot of wrist, hand and elbow movements. It occurs more commonly in people from age 45-54 (1), but can be present at all ages.
If you think you have tennis elbow, you might have pain with lifting things like a coffee mug or getting a milk jug out of the fridge. You may also have pain with repetitive movements of the wrist or elbow Your pain may radiate down the forearm, and you may note pain on the outside of your elbow. This is not usually a condition that happens after an injury. It tends to worsen over time, and may be relieved initially by ice, heat, rest and massage. If these have not helped or have stopped helping, you may want to consider physiotherapy for tennis elbow treatment. Tennis elbow physiotherapy is considered the first line treatment. According to research, this should include exercises (2), manual therapy (3), and dry needling. A brace may also be recommended. If you are not responding to usual management, your therapist may recommend shockwave as a part of your tennis elbow physiotherapy treatment plan. This plan is not set in stone; your therapist will tailor your program specifically to you to meet your needs and reach your goals. If you do not experience benefit from an appropriate course of physiotherapy in tennis elbow, you will want to get your medical team involved. This can include your family physician who may recommend medication management and/or imaging. This can also include referral to a specialist for review of other non-surgical management technique. Several of these have been discussed previously on our blog, and we encourage you to take a look! Lateral elbow pain is a condition that is often treated successfully with a multimodal, multidisciplinary approach, and it is frequently treated at Body Restoration. If you are suffering from it, we would be happy to assess you and develop a collaborative physiotherapy treatment plan for tennis elbow. Book your appointment with us at Body Restoration today.