Avenue Clinic

Avenue Clinic

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is a common condition that causes pain around the outside of the elbow and is clinically known as Lateral Epicondylitis.  It is often caused through overuse of the muscles of the forearm and can cause pain during everyday activities such as:

– Lifting/Bending of the arm

– Gripping small objects such as a pen

– Twisting your forearm to open a jar/door handle

– Fully extending your arm

This happens because the muscles in the forearm that are used to extend our arm, wrist and fingers all join on to a common tendon which attaches to the outside of the arm, just above the elbow. Every time we use these muscles, they pull on the tendon which in turn pulls on the bony attachment in the arm. Thus if we are participating in an activity which involves a continuous repetitive motion, either during sport or in the workplace, we are constantly pulling on these structures which can lead to an aggravating overuse injury.

 

Although the condition is commonly referred to as ‘Tennis Elbow’, this type of injury is very common in all racket sports players, golfers (leading arm) and bowlers as well as carpenters, plumbers and office workers to name a few. Even over doing it in the garden with the hedge clippers can be enough to set it off!

 

If the muscles and tendon are strained in this way, it can lead to general inflammation and discomfort which may be short lasting. However,  micro tears in the tendon itself or irritation to the bony surface where the tendon attaches can cause a more long term problem, especially seeing as though we use our arms everyday. The pain may also travel down your forearm towards the wrist.

 

Management

– Rest the arm until pain subsides and avoid activities which aggravate it.

– Ice the area to help reduce any inflammation.

– The use of anti-inflammatory drugs as prescribed by your doctor may also help.

– An Osteopath would not only be able to asses your discomfort to help understand the true cause but also help with pain relief using techniques to relax the muscles in the forearm and reduce any pressure on the elbow structures. They could also advise on how to build up strength in the area as healing takes place and possibly tape the arm in order to help you continue your everyday activities and avoid any recurrence or further damage. There are other devices such as epiclast straps we can advise on, which if used correctly, can help reduce the workload on the muscles in the forearm and allow healing to take place.   An Osteopath will not only treat the problematic area but carry out a full postural assessment to help improve function elsewhere in the body. If other areas such as your neck and shoulder complex have any imbalances in them, this can lead to overuse and increased tension down the arm. You may have even noticed some painful areas in the muscles around the shoulders prior to the elbow pain or develop discomfort here post injury due to holding your arm in a position that alleviates the elbow pain.

We can help with all these imbalances and advise on how to stop the injury recurring, whether it be adjusting your work posture or sports technique and equipment.

– Acupuncture, often combined with Osteopathic treatment can give excellent results in not only alleviating pain associated with tennis elbow but also by helping to relax any increased muscle tension in the body as described earlier.

If you would like any further assistance or advice, don’t hesitate to call us at the clinic on 728798


References:

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tennis-elbow/Pages/Introduction.aspx

http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions/elbow-pain.aspx?gclid=CJ3xzczLgrwCFdLItAodXmcApQ

http://www.patient.co.uk/health/tennis-elbow

http://www.jaaos.org/content/2/1/1.abstract

"The Osteopaths use a broad range of techniques that I had not experienced with other practitioners and after a few sessions the pain was gone and I had more movement in my neck than I had in years"

Mrs G (for Osteopathy )

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