What is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is a colloquial term referring to an overuse injury that results in inflammation of the tendons in the forearm, making it difficult to lift and move the arm. While it is commonly caused by the sport of tennis, it can also be caused by other sports and activities, including softball, baseball, raking leaves, and even excessive typing on a computer. The name implies specificity to the elbow; however, pain may be felt throughout the entire upper extremity.
How do I know if I have tennis elbow?
Patients who experience tennis elbow typically report pain around the bony part of the extremity, just above the outside of the elbow. This is called the “lateral epicondyle.” This area may be tender to touch, and you may experience weakness and/or an inability to perform normal activities of daily living, such as lifting a cup of coffee or reaching for something on a shelf.
Any activity, such as gripping or repeated grasping, can strain the tendon attachment to the lateral epicondyle. The most common age group to develop this condition is between 30-60 years of age, although it can occur in younger and older patients.
How can I find relief for my tennis elbow?
A Hampstead, Sneads Ferry, or Topsail Beach, NC physical therapist can provide conservative methods to help treat tennis elbow. The goal of physical therapy is to help you return to your normal work, home, and sports activities, free of pain. Your physical therapist can help identify what activities might be aggravating your symptoms, and will discuss any activity modifications you may need to make.
Postural exercises are emphasized, along with stretching and strengthening of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand. Modalities may be utilized, such as heat, cold laser, iontophoresis, ultrasound, and massage. Orthotics for the wrist may also be recommended as your physical therapist deems fit, in order to rest the wrist extensors.
If you believe you may be experiencing tennis elbow, don’t hesitate to contact Hampstead Topsail Physical Therapy or Sneads Ferry Physical Therapy today! Our experienced physical therapists will provide you with the care you need, so you can get back to your normal life.