Blog by Tim Eden, Senior Physio
One of the most common complaints of elbow pain that we see in clinic is lateral elbow pain or what it is more commonly known as tennis elbow.
Lateral elbow pain consists of pain on palpation of the lateral elbow and pain and or weakness on resisted wrist extension, gripping and resisted supination. This condition is usually brought on by overload of the wrist extensors causing pain at the attachment at the elbow. Therefore, it is commonly seen in tennis players due to gripping the racquet and the shock being absorbed through the forearm.
This condition can be quite debilitating in the acute phases and many people struggle to manage. In the first instance controlling the pain and reducing the aggravating factors are key.
Once you can tolerate a progressive exercise program as shown below you need develop the strength of the tendon for it to tolerate your hobbies or work. We usually see this condition improve over a 6-12-week period. You need to be patient and consistent with your exercise. We may be able to help improve your symptoms through a course of manual therapy, taping and help you to develop an individual exercise program. You may benefit from the use of pain relief, hot or cold therapy and potential use of a brace to support the tendon alongside your rehabilitation program.
What else could it be?
There are some masquerades to be aware of in relation to elbow pain. Such as a referral from the neck which may present as elbow pain with associated neck pain and potentially pins and needles or numbness in the hand or arm. Elbow pain following trauma is worth getting checked by your doctor before following this type of program and advice.