Tennis Elbow

With tennis elbow, there is an injury to the muscles that act to extend the wrist and fingers. The site of pain is usually at the lateral epicondyle which is the bony point on the outside of the elbow. People will normally experience pain when performing gripping tasks or resisted wrist or finger extension. Many people will also have trigger points in the extensor muscles of the forearm. Causes of can include:

  • Unaccustomed hand use (eg lots of typing, painting)
  • Excessive gripping activities
  • Poor forearm strength
  • Poor technique
  • Poor elbow and forearm positioning while typing

Tennis elbow is quite common.  It is present in about 40% of tennis players and 15% of people working in repetitive manual trades. While tennis elbow can occur at any age, the most common age at onset is between the ages of 35 and 50. Common treatment of tennis elbow includes:

  • Soft tissue massage
  • Dry needling
  • Joint mobilization
  • Strengthening and stretching exercises
  • Taping
  • Splinting/bracing

Your physiotherapist will assess the elbow but will also look at the shoulder, neck and thoracic spine to rule out any other root involvement of pain. The elbow joint and surrounding superior radio/ulnar joint will be treated to ensure that there is no limitation in movement that could be contributing to the patients pain.

A man suffering with tennis elbow