Tennis elbow, often known as Lateral Epicondylitis or Lateral Epicondylalgia, might be more accurately labeled as Lateral Elbow Tendinopathy. It involves irritation of the muscles and tendons in the forearm, specifically where they connect to the bony prominence of the upper arm bone (humerus) on the outer side of the elbow. These muscles are responsible for extending the wrist and fingers.
While tennis players commonly suffer from tennis elbow, it also affects various other groups, including manual laborers, athletes in different sports, and weightlifters. Individuals with tennis elbow typically feel pain on the outer side of the elbow, particularly during activities involving repetitive or forceful gripping, manual work, and lifting weights.
Tennis Elbow Causes
Tennis elbow occurs when the tendons in the lateral elbow area, particularly the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis (ECRB), are overused or strained. This typically happens during activities that involve repetitive or forceful gripping, manual work, and weightlifting.
Tennis Elbow Symptoms
Frequently reported symptoms of tennis elbow include pain on the outer side of the elbow when pressure is applied to the lateral elbow region, during gripping, or while stretching the muscles and tendons in that area.
Do Tennis Elbow Injections Help?
While injections can provide short-term relief, they may lead to less favorable long-term results.
Tennis Elbow Treatment
At Herlong Sports Physical Therapy, treating tennis elbow involves temporarily modifying factors that worsen the condition. Lateral Elbow Tendinopathy typically shows positive progress over about 12 months, with approximately 90% of individuals experiencing improvement, with exercise further enhancing patient outcomes.
Your physical therapist will create a personalized rehabilitation program to enhance the resilience of the lateral elbow structures and support your return to normal function. This may include modalities to alleviate pain and exercises to enhance the strength and endurance of the structures of the elbow, shoulder, and hand.
Tennis Elbow Exercises
DB Wrist Extension
- Perform with your forearm supported on a table.
- Hold a dumbbell in your hand, palm facing down.
- Lift your knuckles toward the ceiling and then slowly lower them toward the floor.
- Repeat this motion for 10 repetitions, three times a day, three to four days a week.
Band Face Pull
- Stand facing a band anchored to a stationary object at chest height.
- Grasp the band with both hands, step back until you feel tension in the band, and extend your arms straight in front of you.
- Pull the band toward your face, forming a W shape with your arms, then slowly return the band and your arms to the starting position.
- Repeat this sequence for 10 repetitions, three times a day, three to four days a week.
What Patients Are Saying
Herlong Sports Physical Therapy taught me many things about my elbow injury that many PT places couldn’t. They were very professional and well set up with lots of newer equipment which only benefited me and got through my injury. I would highly recommend them to any athlete or person with any injury or anything that hurts.