What is Tennis Elbow?
Lateral Epicondylitis (more commonly known as Tennis Elbow) is a chronic condition where the tendon of the extensor muscles in the forearm becomes inflamed due to overuse. Pain is felt on the outside part of the elbow, where the tendon attaches to the bone.
How do I get the condition?
Lateral Epicondylitis is a repetitive stress injury, and commonly affects people who work at a desk job, as well as tradespeople. The forearm muscles are usually really tight, and this loss of flexibility increases the pull on the tendon, which causes microscopic tears and local inflammation.
How long does it last for?
Lateral Epicondylitis can last for months, even longer if left untreated. Constant re-aggravation followed by poor healing causes collagen to be laid down haphazardly. The tendon loses its strength, resulting in more inflammation, followed by more healing. The cycle then continues.
What do I do when I have it?
The most important thing is modifying your activity to try and avoid re-aggravation. This can be difficult if our jobs are the main aggravating factor. Using a false insertion brace will help take some of the pressure of the tendon, and rolling out the tight spots in your forearms will reduce some of the muscular tightness and pull on the tendon. Dry needling is great at reducing muscle tone and promoting healing. Eccentric exercises will help strengthen the tendon as it heals. Expert advice is invaluable.
If you’re suffering from Elbow pain, come in to Body and Health Creation and Osteopathy Docklands for an accurate diagnosis and we’ll put together a treatment plan to reduce your pain and get you back to doing the things you want to do.
This post was written by Dr Leo Cornelius
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