Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylalgia, is a common elbow overuse injury due to repetitive motions of the hand and wrist that results in tendinopathy of the wrist extensor muscles in the forearm that attach at the elbow.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

  • Pain at the front and outside of the elbow that increases with turning doorknobs, cooking, opening jars of food, and carrying grocery bags
  • Painful to touch
  • Swelling
  • Tightness

*When pain first starts, it is important to control inflammation and swelling, so you should ice and rest your wrist, forearm, and elbow*

HOW CAN PHYSICAL THERAPY HELP?

This injury often results in weakness including loss of grip strength, joint stiffness, loss of range of motion, and changes in flexibility. Your physical therapist will help address these limitations through soft tissue mobilization, manual stretching, joint mobilizations, and functional strengthening. Patients with this injury also usually have stiffness and loss of range of motion of their shoulder on the same arm, which leads to strain on elbow structures. Your PT also may recommend cold laser or dry needling to help with pain control and to enhance healing. Lastly, your PT will provide you with a home exercise program to ensure the quickest rehabilitation possible.

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