Lateral Epicondylitis is a common repetitive strain injury that affects the muscles and tendons around the elbow. Commonly known as tennis elbow, it normally is brought about with a lot of repeated straightening and/or outward twisting of the elbow. This can happen in many different environments and is no way limited to just playing tennis. Other similar action done very strenuously or routinely can also cause tennis elbow e.g. polishing or scrubbing, screwing and twisting or pushing and shoving. Repeated and loaded strain causes damage to the tendons and muscles responsible for these movements.
Tennis elbow is commonly felt as a broad ache below the elbow that becomes sharp, local and intense with movements such as opening doors or holding up a cup. Other symptoms may include a burning sensation over the elbow or a weakness in grip.
With good care tennis elbow typically improves after several weeks. Being a ligament sprain, it’s going to need a little longer to heal compared to muscular strains.
Osteopathic treatment can help manage the severity and duration of tennis elbow. Addressing related areas in the arm and wrist can bring great relief and benefit. Finding and identifying and modifying behaviours that worsen or aggravate the elbow play a key role in recovery. This may mean avoiding or eliminating these actions or changing them to lessen strain and re-aggravation.
Working with your Osteopath or other health professional should take these factors into account as well as creating a management plan that is realistic and is going to work in your circumstances.
It might be painful, but tennis elbow is a manageable condition that can benefit with some help and support.