Tennis Elbow Explained Understanding
Tennis elbow, medically known as lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition characterized by damage to the tendons connecting the forearm muscles to the outer part of the elbow. While its origins are often multifaceted, it is frequently linked to the overuse of wrist and forearm muscles. The strain on the elbow typically results from repetitive actions like gripping objects while bearing weight.
Who Is Susceptible to Tennis Elbow?
Individuals engaged in sports that demand repetitive wrist extension, gripping, and the use of forearm muscles are at risk of developing tennis elbow. Sports like tennis, badminton, or weightlifting fall into this category. Certain occupations involving manual labour, such as gardening, carpentry, and painting, also make individuals prone to this condition. Surprisingly, even desk-based workers can develop tennis elbow if their job involves frequent keyboard/mouse usage without proper ergonomic setup.
Recognising the Common Symptoms
Local tenderness and pain (often described as a deep, dull ache) on the outer side of the elbow
Tightness in the forearm muscles
Decreased grip strength
How Can Osteopathy Make a Difference?
Osteopathic treatment, which includes techniques like massage, articulation, and muscle energy techniques, can provide relief by reducing localized pain and muscle tightness. It also addresses underlying factors contributing to the injury. During your session, your Osteopath will discuss pain management strategies and potential modifications in your daily activities, which may include temporary cessation of sports or adjustments to your ergonomic workspace. Additionally, your Osteopath might design an exercise and rehabilitation program to enhance your strength and increase your range of motion.
Effective Stretching Techniques
Stretching should primarily target the wrist extensor muscles in the forearm. To achieve this, start by extending your elbow forward with your palm facing the floor, then flex your wrist downward and curl your fingers inward. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
Is Dry Needling an Option?
Dry needling is one of several techniques that can be effective for treating tennis elbow. It involves the insertion of fine, acupuncture-like needles into tight muscles or trigger points, often found in the forearm area. The purpose of this treatment is to improve blood circulation to the affected area, reduce muscle tension, and alleviate pain.
If you suspect you may be suffering from tennis elbow, consider booking an appointment with one of our Osteopaths for an accurate diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan. Your path to relief and recovery begins with expert guidance.
The blog post "Understanding Tennis Elbow and How Osteopathy Can Offer Relief" was written by Dr Nathan Switkowski, who is a senior osteopath at Whole Health Osteopathy. Dr Nathan is available for treatments on Monday and Wednesday.