How to improve your tennis elbow?
Here is your chance to improve your tennis elbow? Tired of that nagging pain in your elbow? Unable to pick up the kettle or the groceries? Typing at your computer becoming a painful drag? Craig Paulsen Physio gives you the top tips to reduce your pain.
How does it start?
Tennis elbow is a tendinopathy condition. Tendinopathy occurs when the stress and strain placed on your tendon exceeds its ability to cope. An overload of activities such as typing, lifting and squeezing objects creates the stress. The tendon pain is the body’s signal that the tendon is in an imbalanced state and cannot complete the healing process.
Do I require a scan?
Scans are rarely required. Tennis elbow is an easy condition to diagnose for a qualified Physiotherapist. Scans have limited ability to predict the severity or duration of symptoms. Typically tennis elbow symptoms improve over 12 months.
Do I need to rest?
A tendon is designed to be exposed to load. Load comes from the stress and strain from regular movement to be healthy. While rest will reduce your pain. The byproduct of rest will be loss of tendon strength. A weaker tendon may not cope with future stress and produce ongoing pain.
Physiotherapists will provide you with an activity guide for best results. We like to use the term relative rest. This simply means avoiding the activities that lead to a spike in pain but doing other activities as normal. An example is a female chef who socially trains at the gym. At work she lifts a maximum of 5kg at one time. The gym program is modified. lateral pull downs and seated rows are rested. Remainder of program is unchanged.
Braces and taping
Your Physio Advantage recommends using tape and braces based on scientific studies. Braces increase strength and improve grip strength. Less pain also helps with a faster recovery. Our recommendation is to continue wearing the brace for 3 to 6 months.
The solution to reducing pain and long term results is exercise. A rehabilitation program that targets the elbow tendons produces a stronger, more robust tendon. Exercise increases blood flow and stimulates the collagen within the tendon to realign back to normal.