What is Lateral Epicondylitis/Tennis Elbow?
Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) is a painful condition affecting the outside of the elbow. In most cases it is caused by an overuse or repetitive strain placed on the elbow. It varies from 1-3% in the general population to more than 50% in amateur tennis players. However, tennis players only account for 5% making the term ‘tennis elbow’ quite inaccurate.
In sports, the elbow joint contributes to 15% of the force produced during a tennis serve. In golf, the power portion of the down swing and the follow through cause most force on the elbow joint. Tennis Elbow can also affect weightlifters, painters, IT workers, surgeons and musicians. If you feel you may have Tennis Elbow your symptoms will include a gradual increase in pain when lifting objects, reduced grip strength and stiffness in the elbow. Most people will fully recover from Tennis Elbow but recovery can take anywhere from 6-12 months with some symptoms taking 1-2 years to fully resolve.
The first steps in treating Tennis Elbow include rest and avoiding aggravating factors. It may also help to ice the area and wear a bandage or elbow support. Physio for Tennis Elbow:
- It is important to see a physiotherapist if you feel you have developed Tennis Elbow.
- Early intervention is key as if it is left untreated, symptoms will generally worsen and take much longer to resolve.
- Studies have shown that physiotherapy and exercise can successfully help the treatment of Tennis Elbow by reducing pain and improving function.
- Specifically targeting the elbow area with eccentric load bearing exercises has been shown to be a key component of Tennis Elbow rehab.
- Early assessment and consistency with rehabilitation is key for recovery and will allow you to get back to desired activities much sooner.
- If you are suffering with pain on the outside of your elbow and think it may be Tennis Elbow, click here to book in to see one of our experienced Physiotherapists.