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Tennis Elbow


Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is a common injury causing pain on the outside of the elbow. Despite its name, this condition is not commonly seen in tennis players but more in work related elbow injuries particularly where repetitive stress is involved.

Causes

  • Overuse or repetitive strain caused by repeated extension (bending back) of the wrist against resistance. Or gripping heavy objects like a manual screw driver, weight training or handling bricks.
  • A poor backhand technique in tennis. If the wrist is bent when striking a back hand the huge forces are transferred through the tendons to the elbow rather than through the entire arm.
  • A racket grip that is too small. This will make the muscles work harder increasing the forces through the tendon.
  • Strings that is too tight. More shock and energy will be transmitted through the forearm from the ball.
  • Playing with wet, heavy balls.
  • Repetitive activities such as using a screwdriver, painting or typing.

Symptoms

    Tennis elbow symptoms will mean weakness in the wrist with difficulty doing simple tasks such as opening a door handle or shaking hands with someone.
  • Pain on the outside of the elbow when the hand is bent back (extended) at the wrist against resistance.
  • Pain on the outside of the elbow when trying to straighten the fingers against resistance.
  • Pain when pressing just below the lateral epicondyle on the outside of the elbow.

Treatment

    Acute phase:
  • Cryotherapy
  • Rest
  • Elbow support
  • Ultrasound
  • IRR

    Chronic phase:
  • Myotherapy
  • IFT
  • Spray and stretch
  • Laser

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