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Tennis Elbow Hand Physiotherapy

Medically called lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow is yet another very common elbow pain that's prevalent in patients.

The main symptoms is pain on the OUTSIDE part of the elbow (it's the opposite of golfer's elbow), and the pain can travel down the top part of the forearm.

Also, similar to golfer's elbow, the name of tennis elbow doesn't mean that only tennis players or tennis enthusiast develop tennis elbows (perhaps that's when it's first picked up as a common condition faced by tennis players).

Tennis elbow is very common:

  • affects up to 3% of the population (3 in every 100 individuals develop this condition)
  • usually develops due to work and tasks
  • people who play racquet games are more at risk (due to backhands)
  • affects both men and women equally
  • 30-55 years old

how does tennis elbow develop

Tennis elbow starts with

  • tenderness
  • aching
  • sharp pain
  • swelling

at the outside part of the elbow, just above the elbow joint. You can palpate and press it and you can find it, it's often tender to touch and pressure.

The activities that cause/aggravate tennis elbow is the same one that also causes/aggravates golder's elbow, which includes:

  • sustained/prolonged resisted gripping activity
  • aggravated with motion eg gripping against resistance and turning
  • aggravated with repetition eg doing it again and again

Examples of such exercises and activities include:

  • straining wet mops, cloth, towel, clothes
  • weight lifting
  • using tools like hammers, pliers, screwdrivers
  • rock climbing
  • etc

early diagnosis and hand therapy management = quick healing results

Early accurate diagnosis and understanding of your tennis elbow will cause your condition to be quickly treated and resolved.

Yes, we understand that there is a lot of responsibilities and deadlines, and sometimes patients just can't come in any earlier, but be assured that no matter you come to us at early stage of tennis elbow or advanced stage, our senior physiotherapists and hand therapists will be more than able to:

  • diagnose accurately
  • provide pain relief
  • accelerate soft tissue healing
  • improve elbow range of motion
  • get you back earlier to life, sports and activities you love

symptoms of tennis elbow

Tennis elbow always starts as:

  • tenderness (pain to the touch)
  • swelling
  • pain (aching, throbbing, sharp with resistance)
  • inflammation

at the location of the outer part of the elbow (this is where the extensor tendons of the forearm originate from.

In the early stages, it can be just mild pains (sharp, throbbing) and weakness; but if left untreated, it can be very knife-sharp pains and locking of the joint.

Tennis elbow is relatively clinically straightforward to diagnose and treat - often presents with pain in the outer/outside part of the elbow (the lateral epicondyle) and just slightly above.

Whe the extensor tendon origin is palpated, and when the elbow is straightened and/or wrist is extended. The pain is aggravated with gripping-related activities, and gets worse if it is prolonged.

tennis elbow hand physiotherapy

Early/Acute Phase

During the early phase of golfer's elbow, there is very fresh and sharp pain and inflammation, so hand physiotherapy will focus on:

Post-acute Hand Therapy

  • continue ultrasound therapy to accelerate soft tissue (tendon) healing
  • friction massage to restart healing process (especially for chronic/long term golfer's elbow)
  • range of motion exercises
  • resisted/strengthening exercises
  • deep tissue massage to decrease tightness of over-compensating muscles