Tennis elbow is used to describe almost all symptoms occurring at the outside part of the elbow joint. The name is confusing because often the problem is never caused by playing tennis!
The symptoms are caused by overloading the tendons that attach the muscles of your forearm to your elbow. A poor technique gripping a tennis racket often causes this and the name has stuck. However any activity that involves using these muscles and tendons in a repetitive way or if they are made to work harder or differently to what they are used to can upset them and cause a tendon problem.
Once the tendon has become inflamed it needs a period of relative rest (meaning avoiding the things that irritate it a lot) but otherwise continuing your normal activities. During this painful phase some exercises can be tolerated and are even helpful in calming the pain down and allowing you to move forward.
Once things have settled a gradual period of re-loading the tendon can begin to help it become more resilient to the types of stresses and strains it needs to cope with. This type of exercise needs to be individually designed to fit the unique needs of your arm as you go about your day-to-day work, home life, sports and hobbies.
Sometimes if the treatment is not specific enough for your needs, or even that it is just being very a very stubborn symptom, or even that you just simply haven’t got round to getting it looked at, then it is very common for tendons to get caught in an inadequate ‘healing cycle’. This means the tendon struggles to fully heal and return to normal. Now you have a chronic ‘tendonopathy’ problem with weak tissue that; tires very easily, is very sensitive, and probably reminds you it is there with even the simplest tasks.
Chronic tendon problems do not often respond to physiotherapy, injections or other conservative treatments and usually result in surgery. Shock wave treatment has recently been found to be an excellent alternative to all other treatments for chronic tendonopathies. Shockwave treatment aims to restart the healing process from its very early stages and the tendon can be encouraged to return to full health and strength according to your own individual goals and requirements.
Find out more about how we can help your tennis elbow. Contact us on 01284847884 or use our online contact form.