I recently had the pleasure of meeting one of the best athletes in the WORLD!
With all the fantastic hype of the Australian Tennis open upon us and collection of some of the world’s finest in one competition, I was inspired to write a blog on the very broadly termed condition ‘Tennis Elbow’.
What is it?
Tennis elbow is a broad term also known as Lateral Elbow Tendinopathy and is actually referring to the tendon which attaches the forearm muscles to the elbow joint in which function is to lift the wrist up (extension).
Who gets it?
Tennis elbow is an injury/condition that not only tennis players suffer from. Many sports including golf, squash, cross-fit, gym goers just to name a few. Many occupations suffer from this repetitive overuse injury (electricians, carpenters, builders).
The sporting population will often suffer from ‘’tennis elbow’’ if there is a change in load to their program, this might be change in weights, time under tension, sudden increase in load or introduction of a new exercise, increase in gripping.
How do we treat it?
Remove aggravating activities to reduce the load on the tendon and reduce pain. A Progressive strengthening program can resume almost immediately providing it is comfortable for the patient. The aim is to improve the tendon’s ability to withstand force and load applied through it. Establish with the patient their individual ability to tolerate load and work within pain. Slowly progress loading as tolerated and monitor this.
It is also important to consider other areas of the kinetic change eg. Shoulder and how they may influence the function of the elbow. Working with the athlete and their specific individual demands of their sport/job/occupation or activities of daily living is crucial to a successful outcome.
As a physiotherapist, we are here to educate and guide our patients on their injury and how to progressively strengthen and load the tendon to ensure we can resume function as soon as possible.
MA.Physiotherapy, PGCert. Sports Physiotherapy
Kylie is a New Zealand trained physiotherapist, with extensive experience in sports injuries, orthopaedic rehabilitation, manual therapy and dry needling. She also holds an addition Postgraduate Certificate and Masters in Physiotherapy.