A guide to help you understand “tennis elbow” and how to best manage your symptoms
By Ariana Besse. Physiotherapist
What is Lateral Epicondylalgia & Who Gets It?
Lateral Epicondylalgia, also known as tennis elbow, is the most common chronic musculoskeletal condition causing pain on the outside of the elbow.
It is an overuse injury that causes significant pain, disability and loss of function. It affects 1-3% of the general population and is commonly seen in men and women aged 35-54 years. You may be more like to develop tennis elbow if you smoke, are a manual worker, a tennis player or are involved in repetitive arm movements.
As can be seen in the above image, the tendon becomes thick and tender near its connection site to the elbow. This develops as a result of the tender being inappropriate loading and underdoing repetitive strain.
Signs and Symptoms
People who suffer from tennis elbow will often complain of a variety of symptoms such as:
- Pain on outside of elbow / down forearm
- Pain when picking up objects or gripping
- Weakened grip strength
- Difficulty moving elbow or wrist
- Often painful when waking up
- Elbow may feel stiff
How Long Does It Last?
The duration of tennis elbow differs depending on an individual’s age, occupation, medical history and pain intensity. It usually lasts 6-12 months. There is evidence that physiotherapy that targets pain relief and activity modification can improve an individual’s symptoms and function.
Physiotherapy Management of Tennis Elbow
Physiotherapy aims to reduce pain, manage load, improve muscle strength and optimise function. This may include components of advice and education, hands-on treatment, exercise, bracing and self-management strategies.
Everyone has different experiences with tennis elbow. Your physiotherapist will perform a detailed assessment and create a plan tailor to your symptoms and needs.
If you are suffering from these symptoms, do not hesitate to book a session with one of our friendly physiotherapists. If you have any further questions, please contact us.