Tennis Elbow

What is it?

Tennis elbow is a painful condition that occurs when tendons in your elbow are overloaded, usually by repetitive motions of the wrist and arm.

The pain is primarily felt in the outside of the elbow but can also spread to the forearm and wrist.

Despite its name, this condition can occur in anyone. People whose jobs feature the movements that can lead to tennis elbow include plumbers, painters, carpenters, chefs and butchers.

What are the symptoms?

Pain is felt in the outside of the elbow (the lateral epicondyle) and in the muscles that attach to this area.

These muscles are involved with straightening the wrist, straightening the fingers and in power grip. Therefore, any activity that require these movements can make the pain worse in the elbow.

Common activities that exacerbate the pain include driving, lifting a box, turning a doorknob, or holding a pan.

When severe, there can also be pain at rest and when sleeping.

what is the treatment?

Tennis elbow can last a long time, sometimes as long as 12 to 18 months.

Physiotherapy with stretching and strengthening exercises is the best form of treatment. 

If physio is too painful at the start, a steroid injection in the elbow can be helpful to reduce pain to allow physio to continue.

Another helpful injection which has been shown to work well is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections. This involves injecting a rich serum of platelets into the damaged tissue, in order to help healing.

When physio and injections are unsuccessful, surgery can be performed. The diseased and scarred tissue is removed around the lateral elbow. Physio is restarted immediately following surgery to kickstart the healing process.


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Tennis Elbow

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