Today we will know more about “Tennis elbow”,
1. What is Tennis Elbow?
2. What are the Tennis Elbow Symptoms?
3. What Causes Acute Tennis Elbow?
4. What Causes Chronic Tennis Elbow?
5. What can be done to help?
6. Physiotherapy for Tennis elbow.
** What is Tennis Elbow ?
Tennis elbow is caused by a strain to tendons in the forearm. The tendons become inflamed where they join the bony part on the outside of your elbow joint. Any activity that involves gripping and twisting of the forearm can cause this type of strain
• Acute Tennis Elbow is an injury to the muscles that extend the wrist and fingers. The site of injury is typically the lateral epicondyle, a bony bump on the outside of the elbow where these muscles attach. Tennis Elbow symptoms that have lasted more than 6 weeks are considered to be sub-acute and beyond three months, as chronic tennis elbow.
** What are the Tennis Elbow Symptoms ?
Typically the Tennis Elbow sufferer will experience pain when performing gripping tasks or resisted wrist/finger extension. Pain can also be present when the muscles are stretched. There will be tenderness directly over the bony epicondyle, and there may be trigger points in the wrist muscles. Some sufferers will also have neck stiffness and tenderness, as well as signs of nerve irritation. Most elbow movements will be pain-free, despite that being the area of pain.
** What Causes Acute Tennis Elbow ?
Acute Tennis Elbow is caused by damaged muscle tissue at the point it anchors to the arm bone at the elbow. It occurs when more force is applied to an area than the normal healthy tissues can handle.
* Common Tennis Elbow Causes include:
(i) Unaccustomed hand use. eg painting a fence, hammering, lots of typing.
(ii) Excessive gripping or wringing activities
(iii) Poor forearm muscle strength or tight muscles
(iv) Poor technique (this may be a poor tennis shot)
In some cases such as Chronic Tennis Elbow, this can occur due to the soft tissues being in poor health, which are easily injured. Inflammation follows the injury, which leads to swelling and elbow pain.
** What Causes Chronic Tennis Elbow ?
Chronic Tennis Elbow is associated with degenerative changes in the muscle tissues located at the epicondyle. Although for a long time this was thought to be related to inflammation from overuse, this is now known to be incorrect.
Chronic Tennis Elbow is NOT due to INFLAMMATION!
Testing of Chronic Tennis Elbow sufferers has shown no evidence of the chemicals normally associated with inflammation. Instead, there is an increase in chemicals associated with pain transmission in the nerves. This is coupled with changes in the blood supply, and changes in the coordination of the muscles when using the hand and wrist. You also see degenerative changes in the extensor tendon, where the tendon structure starts to break down. There is also evidence that longstanding forearm muscle imbalances can distort your elbow joint position and result in chronic tennis elbow pain. This results in decreased ability to perform normal elbow activities and reducing elbow and grip strength.
** What can be done to help ?
Simple self-help treatments are probably all you’ll need to clear up your tennis elbow. Most cases will ease within about 2 weeks and you probably won’t need to see a doctor. The first thing you can do to help is to adapt any movements that may be causing your symptoms. For example, lift objects with your palms facing upwards and elbows bent.
** Physiotherapy for Tennis elbow ?
Physiotherapy can help you to manage pain and improve your strength
and flexibility. A physiotherapist can provide a variety of
treatments, help you understand your problem and get you back to your
normal activities. They may recommend an epicondylitis clasp [tennis elbow belt/ support], which can help reduce the strain on your elbow if you need to make repetitive hand and elbow movements, for example while you’re working. Your pain should ease within 2 weeks and you should recover over approximately a 4–6 week period. You should carry on with the exercises overleaf for at least 6–8 weeks after the pain disappears to help prevent symptoms returning.
** Simple home exercises:
A. Wrist turn
1. Bend your elbow at a right angle and hold out your hand, palm up.
2. Turn your wrist slowly so that your palm is now facing down.
3. Hold for 5 seconds, and then slowly release.
4. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
B. Wrist turn with weight
1. Repeat the exercise while holding a light weight (e.g. a tin of beans).
C. Wrist lift (palm up)
1. Bend your elbow at a right angle.
2. Hold a light weight (e.g. a tin of beans), palm up.
3. Bend your wrist slowly towards you.
4. Hold for 5 seconds, and then slowly release.
5. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
D. Elbow bend
1. Stand up straight and lower your arm to one side.
2. Bend your arm slowly upwards so your hand is touching your shoulder.
3. Hold for 15–30 seconds.
4. Repeat 10 times.
E. Wrist flex
1. Ping your arm straight in front with your palm facing down, gently bend your wrist down.
2. Use the opposite hand to press the stretching hand back towards your body and hold for 15–30 seconds.
3. Straighten your wrist.
4. Gently bend the stretching hand backwards and use the opposite hand to pull the fingers back.
5. Hold for 15–30 seconds. Do 3 sets with each wrist.
Note: Take Physiotherapist [HKP]/ your Doctor advice before performing above mentioned exercises.
For more information, please contact Hare Krishna Physiotherapy Clinic
Call: HKP: 9819918844
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