How to Rehab From Tennis Elbow

Introduction: What exactly is Tennis Elbow?Most people have either heard of Tennis Elbow or experienced this debilitating condition themselves. Medical professionals know it under different names, including lateral epicondylitis, elbow tendinosis, and extensor tendinopathy.These terms all refer to an overuse condition that results from too many quick, repetitive wrist movements – usually while gripping something tightly. Over time, these movements can cause degenerative damage to the tendon on the outside of the elbow, resulting in the characteristic pain and loss of function.How common is Tennis Elbow, and what are the symptoms?Somewhere between 1-3% of people have experiencedTennis Elbow at some point in their lives. It seems to affect men and women equally, but is more common in people aged between 30-60.Those who develop it generally experience a loss of grip strength and pain in their elbow area, which can last for up to two years.What treatment options exist for Tennis Elbow?Current research has not shown any one single treatment for Tennis Elbow to be ideal. Physiotherapists and other health professionals can, however, treat the associated pain until the tendon heals.By far, the most effective physiotherapy treatment involves stretching and strengthening exercises. Of all the possible treatments for extensor tendinopathy, physical exercise has the most clinical evidence to support its effectiveness.(Please note: if you suffer from elbow pain, please do not try any exercises until you’ve consulted a health professional. They will need to confirm that your pain is actually due to Tennis Elbow, and not some other injury that the exercises might exacerbate. )Other researched treatments include acupuncture and manipulation, both of which can help to relieve pain in the short-term. On their own, these methods do not seem to be significantly effective for more than 6 weeks from the date of treatment. Both, however, can be used alongside physiotherapy to make exercising more comfortable, which increases the benefit of strengthening.What else can Tennis Elbow sufferers do to speed up their recovery?In addition to getting treatment, those who have developed this type of elbow pain can help to shorten their recovery time by taking certain precautions.One of the most important steps is to avoid any activities that further aggravate the condition. These activities usually include lifting, grasping, racquet sports, and any other movements that cause elbow pain. Note that those who play racquet sports may be able to return to their sport if they adjust the grip size of their racquet handle. A larger handle diameter may allow them to play without pain; but if they notice their symptoms returning, they will need to stop.Unfortunately, many extensor tendinopathy sufferers find that their occupational activities involve movements that aggravate their symptoms. If this is the case, they should ideally modify the problem activities to eliminate (or at least minimise) their pain. If that proves impossible, a Tennis Elbow brace that wraps around their elbow can remove some of the strain and help to prevent re-aggravation.Conclusion: what should you do if you think you have Tennis Elbow?If you suspect you have Tennis Elbow, start by consulting a physiotherapist or other health professional. Once they have confirmed the diagnosis, they will create a programme of stretching and strengthening exercises that are supported by research. They may also recommend supplementing the exercise programme with manipulation and/or acupuncture.By following their recommendations and avoiding any activities that aggravate the condition, you will reduce your recovery time, and become pain-free again more quickly.

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