What is tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow also called Lateral Epicondylalgia is one of the most common overuse injuries in the elbow. This involves injury to an extensor muscle of the forearm; this muscle goes from the top of wrist to the outside of your elbow. Tennis elbow commonly occurs with repetitive use of the wrist with activities such as computer use (specifically the mouse), heavy lifting, rotating the forearm palm up to palm down, and gripping.
Symptoms you maybe experiencing:
- Tenderness on the outside of the elbow
- Weak and painful grip
- Pain with wrist and third finger extension
What a physiotherapist can do for you:
- Manual therapy such as releasing the forearm muscles, and articulate the joint to de-load the injury
- Design an appropriate home exercise program specifically focusing on eccentric exercise of the wrist extensors
- Use modalities such as laser, ultrasound and interferential current
What to do at home:
- Limiting the amount of repetitive use of the wrist and elbowing will help with your pain and help with healing. For example: use the mouse on the other hand, and use your other arm instead of your injury arm for activities
- Grip objects with your palm up instead of down
- Stretch your extensor muscles by keeping your elbow straight and bending your palm down
- Ice massage the outside of your elbow for 5 minutes being careful you don’t burn your skin. Just like heat, you can burn your skin with ice!
Tennis Elbow Treatment in Burnaby, B.C.
Christina Brownlow, our Physiotherapist in Burnaby BC, is the writer of this Tennis Elbow blog. If you have any questions regarding tennis elbow or need an assessment from our Burnaby Physio Clinic please contact us at 604-558-2273 and she would be happy to see you.
- DeLee, Jesse, David Drez, and Mark D. Miller. DeLee; Drez’s Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Principles and Practice. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Science, 2009, Volume II, chapter 19 for arm and elbow, tendinopathies around the elbow, lateral epicondylitis.
- Bisset L, Beller E, Jull E, Brooks P, Darnell R, Vicenzino B. Mobilisation with movement and exercise, corticosteroid injection, or wait and see for tennis elbow: randomised trial. BMJ 2006.
- Waseem M., et al, Lateral epicondylitis: A review of the Literature, 2012, J Back Musculoskelet Rehabilitation.
- Phil Page, et al, A new exercise for tennis elbow that works, 2010, North American Journal of Sports Physical Therapy.