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Get to know tennis elbow
Tennis elbow is also called lateral epicondylitis. The cause is micro-tear at the bony attachment of the muscles at the outer aspect of the elbow. If repetitive force is continuously exerted, the tissue is torn again before it is recovered, making the condition worse and worse, finally leading to tennis elbow.
Cause of tennis elbow
When the flexibility of the muscles is inadequate, excessive bending and straightening of the elbow leads to tear in the extensor muscle group. The condition is commonly seen in sports such as tennis, badminton and squash.
When the extensor musclesundergoe sudden traction or impact, the muscles may be injured.
Repetitive movements of the wrist and fingers may lead to overuse of the muscles. These movements include typing, using a mouse, washing clothes or prolonged handling of heavy objects
Symptoms of tennis elbow
- Tenderness in the outer aspect of the elbow
- Pain when bending or straightening the elbow
- Pain in resisted extension of the wrist
- Increased tension in the forearm muscles
- Pain when holding objects forcefully or twisting objects
Physiotherapy for tennis elbow
Electrotherapy Electrotherapy such as ultrasound and IFT can increase blood circulation at the elbow so as to decrease inflammation.
Manual therapy Deep friction massage can increase the local blood circulation. Joint mobilization can help to mobilize the stiff elbow joint.
Exercise therapy Strengthening and stretching exercise to the muscles around the elbow protects them from further injury.
Acupuncture According to the individual conditions of each patient, the therapist will choose appropriate acu-points to relieve the pain from tennis elbow.
Prevention and maintenance
- Ice can be applied to acute injury
- Reduce the use of the forearm muscles during an onset
- Avoid repetitive use of wrist and fingers
- A tennis elbow brace may be used to decrease the stress on the forearm when working
- Do frequent stretching exercises