Thursday, 31 January 2013

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

Many of you would have come across the term ‘tennis elbow’ and some of you may have suffered from this condition. Despite its common name, this condition is not only found in tennis players. In fact, it is the most common overuse elbow injury in adults (Foundations of Athletic Training).

What is Tennis Elbow?
The medical term for this condition is lateral epicondylitis, as it refers to inflammation of the tendon, more specifically, the common extensor tendon, that passes over the lateral epicondyle, that is, the outside of the elbow.

Tennis elbow is an overuse injury caused by repetitive loading of the lateral forearm muscles during the deceleration phase of actions such as throwing or a tennis stroke.

Pain is felt over the outside of the elbow and into the forearm muscles and is usually felt both during and after physical activity involving these muscles. As activity increases, so the pain becomes more severe.

Management and Rehabilitation
The acute pain can be alleviated with rest, ice, compression and anti-inflammatory drugs. One should avoid activities that exacerbate the pain, as well as gripping activities. Stretching exercises within a pain-free range should be performed. A strengthening programme for the shoulders, arms, and wrists will also help to alleviate this condition. This programme should be performed under the guidance and supervision of a Biokineticist, and the progression should be slow and controlled, making allowance for increased activity as and when the pain allows.

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