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lateral epicondilitis | tennis elbow | elbow pain

Are You Frustrated by an annoying Tennis Elbow?

Written by Dr Katie Willy

lateral epicondilitis | tennis elbow | elbow pain

Are you sick of that annoying tennis elbow that never quite disappears? 

No matter what you do, it just sits in there niggling away at a low level.  But sometimes the tennis elbow is really bad, before the niggle returns once again.  

You’ve likely tried some the following with some success but not completely going away 

  • Icing it 
  • Anti-inflammatory medication (eg. aspro, nurofen, voltaren, mobic)
  • Stretching it  
  • Wearing a brace every day for work  
  • Exercises to strengthen the muscle 
  • A cortisone injection that helped a little bit but the pain has come back.  

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is a form of tendinitis which involves wrist tendons that cross the elbow joint. The tendons become inflamed and cause pain when the hand is required to be used. But the pain is at the elbow and into the upper forearm on the outer part.

You don’t have to be playing racquet sports to get tennis elbow. It is simply called this due the frequency it occurs with tennis. Makes sense when it’s actually wrist tendons and tennis requires a lot of movement and effort through the wrist to play shots.

So why doesn’t tennis elbow go away?

The issue with the above “solutions” is they are all band aid approaches looking to stop pain, but the pain is not the cause, it’s the symptom. 

What’s the potential cause of my tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow can be caused by trauma to the elbow or wrist, often by repeated stress on the tendons such as from sports or use of certain tools. But it can also be from gripping other things when the elbow is in a bit of an awkward position. Maybe even fromlong-term overuse that snuck up on you. We talk about this a little more below.

If your elbow is not resolving it might be time to consider that the underlying issue isn’t actually the elbow. The clues will be in your history & your posture. We look at how your arm hangs by your side. If you have had any shoulder or wrists problems before that is probably a good place to look for mechanical compensation patterns of the arm. The shoulder is also attached to the rib cage via the shoulder blade. If you have previous issues in the ribcage or the spine then the shoulder might have to adjust it’s position & function to adapt it’s movement, then the elbow will rest and work from this new, less mechanically sound pattern due to the flow on effect from the rib cage and spine.

How do we work on this compensation pattern?

Our thorough history taking is crucial to finding why something in the body, and this case the elbow, is grumpy. We want to work out why where the first domino fell in your compensation pattern that resulted in a mechanical change of use in your affected elbow. 

Our Anatomy in Motion (AiM) training has us looking at all the bones, joints and muscles that affect the elbow and put it into context as to why this area would be sore and working in a way that’s causing you pain. Our Osteopathic knowledge and hands on skills allow us to treat the tennis elbow and also work on teaching you how to unravel the compensation pattern for a long-term result.   

Need some help with your tennis elbow pain?

We are all ears! Call 9859 5059 or book online via the button below.