Tennis Elbow – Lateral Epicondylitis
If the outside of your elbow is sore and tender, it could be because you are suffering from Tennis Elbow.
Tennis Elbow is an acute or chronic condition, where the tendon that attaches the forearm muscles to the outside part of the elbow joint, (the lateral epicondyle) has become inflamed and has possible tears in the tissue. This may be caused by playing tennis, but can also be due to any repetitive movement that uses your extensor muscles. These are the muscles on the top side of your forearm that can bring your wrist back as supposed to the flexors on the under side that bend the wrist forward. If the flexors are giving you trouble on the inside of your elbow, with pain radiating up the under side of your forearm, then you may be dealing with Golfers elbow, or Medial Epicondylitis. The same treatments and procedures can apply to this condition.
How to recognise the signs of Tennis Elbow
You may feel the pain of tennis elbow when you…
Grip or lift things with your palm faced down
Shake someone’s hand
Move the wrist
You may have stiffness in the morning.
Tennis Elbow is common in Carpenters and Labourers.
How to recognise signs of Golfers Elbow:
You may feel the pain of Golfers Elbow when you…
Bend your wrist toward your body
Bring your forearm in toward you
Repetitively flex, grip or swing – i.e. the swing of a Golf Club!
Use a screwdriver or Hammer
Raking in the Garden i.e. pulling toward you
Prevention – If you feel the onset of the above symptoms but are not yet suffering to the point that you have to stop many actions that inflame the condition, it is possible for you to begin using preventative measures. Stretching and strengthening the muscles of the forearms and wrists are essential to levelling out the imbalance that is causing the problem. Using the RICE method of Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, may be a good place to start in the acute phase of pain, if you have a sudden sharp pain that has stopped you from doing your everyday activities. You may have experienced the straw that broke the camels back as they say and its time to stop!
Diagnosis – It may be simple to self diagnose considering the above symptoms to look for. A Dr can diagnose it for you and so can a Physiotherapist. Most Massage therapists can spot Tennis Elbow but they are qualified to hypothesise not diagnose.
Treatment – Tennis Elbow can be treated by a Physio who can give you guidance and exercises to rebalance your muscle exertion. Massage helps to loosen tight muscles, get circulation into areas that are restricted and to lengthen shortened muscles.