Tennis Elbow

The
Elbow

Tennis elbow is a common condition that generally occurs in middle age and is characterised by pain on the outside of the elbow. The condition is aggravated by contraction of the muscles that straighten (extend) the wrist and fingers such as reaching for a carton of milk in the fridge, picking up a cup of coffee or typing. The pain can be severe and tends to vary in rough proportion to activity. ​

The quality of tendon attachment to bone slowly deteriorates through adult life. Muscle strength however is entirely proportional to use, until very late in life. Significant repetitive load through these muscles may lead to overload of the tendon which becomes painful and easily aggravated. A sudden increase in load or unaccustomed activity involving the tendon can also lead to tennis elbow.

Unfortunately, even under ideal circumstances, resolution of this condition can take many months. Occupational, domestic and recreational demands may continue to overload the tendon and delay the repair process, associated with fluctuating discomfort. Your therapist will be able to guide you with strategies to unload the tendon as it heals. Application of a wrist guard can also be helpful in certain circumstances.

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