What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is a condition which, you may have guessed, affects the elbow. But you don’t need to play tennis to suffer from it. Any activity can cause it if it involves repeated stress on the elbow joint. Other racquet sports may bring it on, such as badminton or squash. Or something like painting a wall, where the repeated brushing motion puts stress on the elbow. It can also be brought on by using hand tools like screwdrivers or sewing, due to the repetition of fine hand movements.

Medically it is known as lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow is caused by a build up of tears in the muscle, which result in inflammation around the bony point of the elbow.

Tennis elbow can range from mild discomfort to severe pain. The pain may get worse when you twist your forearm, for example by using a door handle. You may also have difficulty in gripping small objects, such as pens or sewing needles.

As the pain will usually be worse when using your arm, you should try and rest it when you first notice any discomfort, before consulting a medical professional.

If you change the activity or adjust it to make it less stressful for the elbow then you should. If you are in a lot of pain you should avoid doing the activities that lead to the inflammation. You can also help minimise the pain with simple remedies such as applying an ice-pack to the inflamed area.

An osteopath can help treat tennis elbow, especially if it is causing you severe pain. Using a variety of techniques they will stimulate healing in the affected area. This can include massage and manipulation, encouraging blood flow to the affected area. This will help the body combat the inflammation, and should give relief for any stiffness that has developed in the muscles.

An osteopath will also be able to show you exercises to strengthen your forearms, and suggest ways you can adapt your movement to help reduce the pain.

If you feel as though you would benefit from osteopathic treatment, please contact us here to make a booking.

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