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Tennis Elbow

A common cause of elbow pain

What is Tennis Elbow?


Tennis elbow refers to a condition called lateral epicondylagia. The lateral epicondyle of the elbow is the common attachment site of many muscles of the wrist and fingers extensors. When these muscles are under stress this causes tendon damage (tendinopathy) at this insertion site leading to pain on the outside of the elbow.

The most commonly injured tendon is that of extensor carpi radialis brevis, followed by extensor digitorum.

Tennis Elbow

Who gets it?


Whilst it is common in sports such as tennis, squash and badminton (usually due to the backhand shots), it is also common in manual jobs which require lots of wrist work (e.g. hammering, screwdriver gripping and twisting, brick laying etc).
Computer work has also been shown to be associated with this condition.

What causes tennis elbow?


A lot of different factors can cause this condition so an assessment of your cause by one of our Physiotherapists is vital for successful treatment of this condition.

Some causes can include:
  • Repetitive wrist/elbow movements
  • Poor technique/execution of a task
  • Excessive loading on the muscles (e.g. heavy objects, size of objects)
  • Postural positions and strength of muscle groups
  • Ergonomic set up and positioning
  • Muscle tone and flexibility

How is it treated?


Make sure you get yourself assessed by one of our Physiotherapists to assess what is causing YOUR condition and symptoms. Your Physiotherapist will take a detailed history of the onset of your pain and gain an idea of what tasks in your daily life may be affecting it.

Treatments may then include:

  • Manual joint mobilisations
    • At the elbow, and may include your wrist or neck also
  • Exercises to improve strength, flexibility and co-ordination
  • Soft/deep tissue massage of the affected muscle groups
  • Advice on adapting home and work set up
  • Advice on adapting work tasks so they are less painful
  • Bracing or taping
  • Adjunct treatments such as dry needling
  • Referral for investigations or medical management if required.

Tennis Elbow
Tennis Elbow

Want specific advice for your individual situation? Make an appointment today on (07) 3846 4800.

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