Treatment options for tennis elbow? This really hurts…

Lets talk about tennis elbow treatment!

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a common condition. It seems to affect both men and women, between 35-55 years of age. Tennis elbow treatment is often very important for people dealing with this issue.

What is Tennis Elbow?

It is as an over use injury of the tendon that attaches to the outer side of the arm bone. The muscles involved are responsible for wrist extension and hand movements. This is one of the reasons why turning a door nob can be painful.

The over use of the tendon can result in a break down of tissue. Sometimes, inflammation, calcification or fibrosis occurs. For some patients, rest, and care will be enough to improve. For others, pain continues and it can become resistant to therapy.

The Patient Experience

Many patients report feeling overwhelmed with this problem. Not only is it very painful, it can interrupt many activities of daily living. Simple tasks become hard and fun activites may no longer be easy to perform.

What can cause pain in the outside of the elbow?

There are many different conditions that can cause pain in the elbow region. For instance, neck pain, pinched nerves, and other issues can send pain to the outside of the elbow.

If you are exeperiencing lateral elbow pain and have not seen a professional, please do. This informative blog will help you treat tennis elbow once it is diagnosed.

I have a diagnosis of Tennis Elbow, Now what?

Avoid overuse and activities that flare up pain.

  • Continue all activities but don’t push through pain
  • Avoid heavy gripping and lifting
  • Try some moderate stretches seen below
  • Start loading exercises to increase resilience of the tissue

Wrist Eccentric Exercise

As seen above, help lift the weight with the other arm. Slowly lower the weight for 3 seconds.

  • Repeat 15-20 reps
  • 3 sets per day or as the tendon tolerates

wrist ext exercise

Wrist extensor Stretch

As seen above, stretch the wrist to a moderate level of discomfort.

  • Hold stretch for 20-30 seconds
  • Repeat every hour throughout the day

More Suggestions for Tennis Elbow Treatment…

  • Give it time (most people feel relief of pain in a couple months)
  • Keep exercising (try lower body and cardio activities)
  • See a physio!

Should I Take anti-inflammatories?

  • A very common treatment option is non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. The hope here is to decrease inflammation around the tendon.

      Things to ponder:
    • Not all “tennis elbow” has a true inflammatory component
    • Limited evidence of the benefits and harms of topical or oral NSAID medication.
    • There is some limited evidence that NSAIDS may provide benefit in the short term (4 weeks).

What about Electro-Therapy and Other Things Like Laser for Treating my Tennis Elbow?

    • Limited and conflicting evidence for application of tens, electromagnetic therapy, laser and ultrasound.
    • Multimodal care seems more effective.
    • Exercise is king.

laser therapy icon

Should I Get Surgery?

    • There are a lot of controversies on whether surgery is effective.
      According to Gregory et al, 2016, there is still uncertainty on the ideal type of surgery to perform. Not to mention the innate risks of undergoing invasive procedures.

What about shockwave?

    • International Society of Medical Shockwave Treament:
      Shockwave is indicated for Treatment of tennis elbow.
      Shockwave therapy has a dramatic effect on regenerating the tissue and is still the main indication for tennis elbow.

Let’s simplify this even more. For patients with elbow pain…

  • Get assessed by a qualified medical practitioner.
  • See a physiotherapist
  • Exercisde is king: Nothing will work as good as exercise to improve your symptoms.
  • Have confidence in exercise! Beautiful and bright tape is appealing and cupping is a new hype. Exercise has outperformed all other treatment for tennis elbow.

Keep active.

If symptoms persist > 4 months, consider shockwave.

Stay positive! 🙂 80 to 90 percent of patients will respond to treatment in 1 year without surgery.

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