Lateral Elbow Pain

Constant ache on the outside of your elbow or travelling down your forearm? Achy wrists?

You could be suffering from lateral epicondylitis or "Tennis Elbow" as it’s more commonly known.

Tennis elbow is an overuse injury of the forearm muscles and typically comes about from repetitive use of the wrists (mainly extension) or a gripping motion (hence the name coming from Tennis players performing a lot of backhand). These days however, tennis elbow is more likely to result from hours spent typing on a keyboard.

As the wrist extensors (which travel from the fingers, across the wrist and up to the elbow) contract over and over again they tighten up and pull away from their insertion on the bone near the elbow and cause this area to become inflamed/strained.

How to test it?

Use your good hand to resist the extension (upwards movement) of the middle finger of your sore arm. (with hand palm down on table- resist against the fingernail). If this produces the pain in the elbow or along the forearm then you most likely have Tennis Elbow.

What to do?

  1. Loosen it up! First of all, your poor forearm muscles have been working overtime! They need to be released so they don’t continue to pull on the bone. Massage and dry needling work very well for this.

  2. Stretch it out. Holding your arm out straight in front of you, palm facing down, use your other hand to gently bend the wrist and fingers down and back towards your body. Hold for 20secs. Do this every 20mins during the day.

  3. Strengthen your wrist extensors. Start with holding a full water bottle just off the table and lowering it gently. The focus is on lowering your wrist not lifting it up. (It’s easiest to see your physio for education regarding these strengthening exercises)

If you have a pain, injury or simply a question - give us a call on (08) 9448 2994, or book an appointment online here!

#physiotherapy #physio #doctororphysio #elbow #lateralelbow #pain

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