Tennis Elbow; Most Common Elbow Injury
The most common elbow condition is tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is caused by overuse and excessive strain on the extensor muscles of the forearm resulting from wrist extension, such as in back hand tennis players, or occupations that involve repetitive wrist movement, such as carpenters or bricklayers. It may be provoked by any exercise that involves repeated and forcible extension movements of the wrist, like using a screwdriver or hammer.
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow usually has a gradual onset but it can also be sudden. There may be a constant muscular ache in the forearm and/or near the outer elbow. It is aggravated by movements that involve extension of the wrist, such as picking up bags or turning on taps and sometimes it may feel like there is less strength when grasping objects. The outer elbow can be tender to touch, is painful with resisted extension of the wrist and is painful when stretching the wrist.
Tennis Elbow Treatment
In the acute phase of the tennis elbow rest is vital. Apply ice 2-3 times daily to reduce inflammation and pain. Anti-inflammatory medication or gels can also work very well. Osteopathic treatment can help loosen and stretch the muscles involved and also reduce the amount of inflammation in the elbow. Your Osteopath will also check any other areas that may be affected, such as the shoulder or upper back and neck, and show you stretches you can do to reduce tension in the forearm muscles and also show you exercises you can do to strengthen these muscles.
Tennis elbow straps can also be useful in off loading the tension off the elbow.