What is Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylalgia)?

Lateral epicondylalgia is thought to be linked to repetitive overload of the extensor muscle group of the forearm and the sufferer will present with pain localised to the outer side of the elbow with the potential for radiating pain down the forearm. Pain is often exacerbated by gripping activities and the repetitive tasks which may have triggered the response.


Symptoms may include;

  • A reduction in grip strength

  • Painful turning of the wrist and forearm often worse when gripping objects

  • Pain on resisted wrist and or finger extension

  • Tenderness to touch on the outer elbow

It is important to look at differential diagnosis and screen other regions. Screening tests of the neck and nerve structures are important to ensure the correct diagnosis is made.

Although techniques like massage and dry needling may have some effect on pain relief in the short term current evidence suggests best management involves;

Management Strategies

  • Education and understanding on Tendinopathy

  • Load management strategies

  • Modification of tools or workstations

  • Self management strategies

  • Exercise programs - a specific exercise program which may consist of isometric, eccentric or concentric exercise

  • Presenting for assessment and treatment with in the first three weeks of your pain has a favourable effect on prognosis

A thorough assessment completed by your Nextmove Physiotherapist will confirm your diagnosis and allow for the best treatment planning, dependent on what stage of your presentation you are in.

References:

Bisset LM, Vicenzino B (2015) Physiotherapy management of lateral epicondylalgia. Journal of Physiotherapy 61: 174–181

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