With the two-week Wimbledon tennis championships set to return from 28th June, we thought now would be the perfect time serve up some awareness about the painful condition, Tennis Elbow.
Despite what the name suggests, the condition doesn’t only affect those who wield a tennis racket. However, it’s believed to affect 10 to 50% of tennis players during their career and up to just under two million people in the UK.
What is Tennis Elbow?
Formally known as lateral epicondylitis – Tennis Elbow causes pain and tenderness on the outside of your elbow. According to the NHS, it can last anywhere between six months and two years. If you are suffering from this condition, you might also have problems:
- Lifting or bending your arm
- A burning pain in your elbow
- When using or holding small objects such as a pen, pencil or your phone
- When twisting your forearm such as turning a door handle or opening a jar
- Fully extending your arm
- Pins & needles or numbness in the forearm
What causes Tennis Elbow?
Tennis Elbow can be caused by overusing the muscles attached to your elbow and used to straighten your wrist.
Any activity that puts repeated stress on the elbow joint cause this painful condition.
So, although this includes tennis players, it can also affect those who play squash, golf, fencing or badminton. Along with professionals such as painters, carpenters, musicians and those who work on an assembly line or on a computer.
How to treat Tennis Elbow?
Robin Kiashek has been a practicing Osteopath for more than 25 years and has treated many people for tennis elbow.
He said: “If you do feel a pain in your elbow, you should stop the activity that is causing the pain until your symptoms improve.
“To ease the pain, sometimes people hold a cold compress on their elbow or a bag of frozen peas wrapped around a tea towel. While others use an elbow strap to project the injured tendon from further strain.
“However, I would suggest coming to see an osteopath initially to obtain an accurate diagnosis and possible causative factors, such as issues with the shoulder and/or hand. Osteopathic techniques combined with Low Level Laser therapy and/or Acupuncture to the elbow can help in reducing the symptoms, whilst addressing the underlying causative factors.”
How does Osteopathy help with Tennis Elbow?
Osteopaths can treat tennis elbow in using Manual Osteopathic techniques to both the elbow and if necessary, adjacent areas (shoulder, hand).
As confirmed by one study which looked at the power of deep friction massages versus steroid injections in the treatment of tennis elbow: “Deep friction massage is an effective treatment for lateral epicondylitis.”
If you are struggling with tennis elbow, get in touch with Robin today to book in for a consultation or treatment. If you are suffering from other ailments, whether it’s neck pain, joint pain or headaches, these are all areas that Osteopathy can help improve.