Tennis elbow – Condition of the week

Tennis elbow causes pain around the outside of tennis elbowthe elbow

Tennis elbow is clinically known as lateral epicondylitis. It often occurs after strenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm, near the elbow joint.

You may notice pain on the outside of your upper forearm, just below the bend of your elbow when lifting or bending your arm. It may also hurt when gripping small objects, such as a pen or when twisting your forearm, such as turning a door handle or opening a jar. You may also find it difficult to fully extend your arm.

What causes tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is usually caused by overusing the muscles attached to your elbow and used to straighten your wrist. If the muscles and tendons are strained, tiny tears and inflammation can develop near the bony lump (the lateral epicondyle) on the outside of your elbow.

As the name would indicate, tennis elbow can sometimes be caused by playing tennis. However it can be caused by a variety of other activities that place repeated stress on the elbow such as painting and decorating or playing the violin.

Treating tennis elbow

Rest should be the first advice to anyone suffering from tennis elbow and ceasing whatever activity it was that caused the problem. Other self treatments can include icing the elbow for 10-15 minutes 3-4 times a day, this helps ease the pain and decreases the amount of swelling that is present.

Chiropractic can help by manipulating and massaging the affected area which may help relieve the pain and stiffness and improve the range of movement of the arm. Cryotherapy and Ultrasound therapy can also help reduce the symptoms and we can perform all of these treatments at our clinic.

Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can help reduce the pain if it is mild but it is important not to ‘mask’ the pain with stronger painkillers and resume strenuous activities as this will inevitably make things worse.

Surgery can be used as a last resort to remove the damaged part of the tendon.

Most cases last between six months and two years. However, in about nine out of 10 cases, a full recovery is made within a year.

To read more about this condition please visit: http://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/directory/t/tennis-elbow


Peter Heale Chiropractor in Hitchin and LutonFrom the team at Heale's Chiropractic Clinics
Over 30 years of helping people in Hitchin and Luton and the surrounding areas of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire

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