Tennis elbow is a term describing pain on the outside of the elbow. Contrary to the name, the condition is not limited to tennis players but is seen in those that participant in activities involving repetitive stress on the muscles around the elbow. Unfortunately, tennis elbow can be difficult to treat, especially if the pain becomes chronic. If elbow pain is present, it’s important to pinpoint the source and reason for the pain.
What causes tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow can develop suddenly or gradually, over a matter of days or weeks. Tennis players become afflicted because of the repetitive movements and overuse of the muscles but it can affect anyone due to something as simple as heavy lifting. The main symptoms of pain affect the area directly below the bony part of the elbow (lateral epicondyle) and may spread to the muscles around the forearm and wrist, causing weakness. This may cause difficulty when performing tasks that involve gripping such as shaking hands or opening doors.
When should I seek treatment for tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow can become chronic so it’s very important to seek out treatment at the first sign of symptoms. The earlier the treatment begins, the better the chance that you’ll have of a speedy and efficient recovery.
How can physical therapy help my tennis elbow?
Your physical therapist will work with you to find the source of pain that is causing tennis elbow. They’ll build a plan of care that is unique to your body and goals, keeping in mind the activities in which you frequently participate. They may include a variety of techniques into your treatment, such as:
• Dry Needling: The use of small, acupuncture needles to create a lesion in the tissue, producing a little trauma in the body that sends an inflammatory response to the affected area. Dry needling sends all of the healing properties in your body to this area to help it heal.
• Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM): Your PT will feel for fibrotic tissue or adhesions in the soft tissue in the muscle or tendon. They’ll look for areas of tightness to relieve them and mobilize the tissue.
• Contract/Relax Techniques: Intended to help the muscles become less tense or to address any tightness or spasming muscles.
Physical therapists can provide the necessary tools to prevent and/or treat tennis elbow, allowing you to return to your favorite activities pain-free and stronger than ever! To learn more about how to prevent tennis elbow or to eliminate any current discomfort, book a physical therapy assessment today.
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“I can’t begin to describe how happy I am with my treatment at Therapydia. My ailment was resolved within a few sessions and has not returned.”