Tennis elbow physiotherapy is on high demand among patients who engage in activities that require repetitive movements with arms, wrists, and elbows. The painful and swollen tennis elbow, also called Lateral Epicondylitis, affects athletes and workers that do plenty of forearms muscle work, causing strain, swelling, and pain in the elbow. The pain is due to the injured extensor tendon. That is the tendon located on the outside of the elbow, which inflames under the pressure of strenuous, continuous overuse.
Patients suffering from the condition find that physical therapy for tennis elbow effectively solves their immediate issues, such as inflammation, and benefit from a proactive stance toward healing this degenerative disease. Occasionally, the disease can be persistent, causing elbow pain to return and asking for a more comprehensive approach. Apart from devising self-helping tennis elbow exercises to reduce symptoms, your physiatrist will assign appropriate physiotherapy treatment you will need to do in a clinic.
What is the Most Successful Tennis Elbow Physiotherapy Treatment?
The first thing to instantly relieve symptoms is to rest and to avoid any activity that has caused the problem in the first place. Rest will improve blood supply to the painful area and help it heal. To conclude what type of activities to avoid, your doctor will ask you a set of questions about your lifestyle and work engagement. As a general rule, men are at greater risk, as well as people between the ages of 30 and 50. Tennis elbow encompasses the most active age group of all that actively contributes to the workforce or plays sports.
Sports That Bear Heightened Risk
To eliminate the root cause before starting with additional tennis elbow physiotherapy treatment, you may be asked to avoid certain sports that require constant use of the forearm:
Racket sports. Tennis, table tennis, squash, and badminton engage the forearm a lot and can be especially tiresome for novices who don’t have well-developed and balanced muscle use. They are the most common casualties and among the first to ask for tennis elbow physiotherapy consultation.
Basketball and handball. Due to the stress of throwing or dribbling the ball with the underarm, basketball and handball players are among the typical tennis elbow patients.
Throwing sports. Discus and javelin, because of the immediate impact on the forearm.
For sports pros, abstaining from the activity for a long time can be out of the question. The same goes for professionals who do these tasks for a living, such as forest workers, gardeners, builders, musicians, typists, crafts persons, or cooks. If you find yourself in any of these groups, you should look into sports physiotherapy for tennis elbow that lets you be active while removing or managing symptoms.
Manual Labour Tasks
Tennis elbow is an occupational condition, so some people will be more prone to it and have more difficulties with avoiding it. Certain jobs are strong triggers for the condition. Keep in mind that these activities do not necessarily need to be forceful. Sometimes, the act of repetition itself is enough of a problem:
- Using pliers, screwdrivers, and hammers
- Painting, plumbing, and bricklaying
- Sewing and typing
- Weaving, raking and fishing
- Violin playing
Even something as simple and fun as arm wresting or sleeping in a poor position can cause tennis elbow. As you may notice, what these activities have in common is the continuous engagement of the forearm, which can cause the outside tendon of the elbow to flare up and cause pain.
Other Immediate Relief for Tennis Elbow
Applying ice packs for 4-6 hours a day for at least 24-48 hours helps some people. Over-the-counter medication can free you of some of the pain but it’s not advisable in the long term. An orthotic device, a strap or a brace around the elbow an also be helpful. As an intermediate solution, your doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections. Cortisone is shot directly into the joints to ease down pain and inflammation. However, it also comes with certain risks and should not to be used for long. If the condition persists for more than 48 months, it is classified as chronic, and sometimes even surgery is necessary.
Tennis Elbow Exercises You Can Do at Home
Being diagnosed with tennis elbow should not deem you powerless. To relieve pain at home, you can do tennis elbow exercises for stretching and strengthening.
- Wrist range of motion: Bend wrist forward and backward.
- Pronation and supination of the forearm: Bend elbow at 90°, turn your palm upward and downward while holding in each position for 5 seconds.
- Elbow range of motion: Bring palm up toward your shoulder. Bend and straighten the elbow.
- Wrist flexion stretch: Stand at a flat surface with palms down, fingers flat, and elbows straight. Lean your body weight forward.
- Wrist extension stretch: Stand at a flat surface with palms up, fingers pointing toward your body, and elbows straight. Lean your body back.
- Wrist flexion exercise: Hold a tool such as a hammer in your hand, palm facing up, bend the wrist upward and return in the initial position. Repeat as you increase weight gradually.
- Wrist extension exercise: Hold a tool such as a hammer in your hand, palm facing down, bend the wrist upward and release into the initial position. Repeat as you increase weight.
- Wrist radial deviation strengthening: Put your wrist sideways with your thumb up. Grab a tool and bend your wrist up, with the thumb reaching upward. Lower down and repeat.
- Forearm pronation and supination strengthening: Hold a tool in your hand and bend your elbow at 90°. Rotate hand side to side with your palm upward and then palm down.
Bicep curls, as well as sock, stress ball, or paper squeezing, greatly help certain patients. Do these exercises twice a day to experience results in a few weeks. If nothing else helps, you may need to schedule a further consultation.