Piercing Elbow Pain? - Tennis Elbow!
Orla O' Regan & Andrew O' Neill.
Are you feeling pain on the outer side of your elbow? shooting pain while gripping and touching that area can be quite sore? Do you use your computer on a daily basis? Does your job include repetitive use of your hands? Are you a painter? Carpenter? Butcher, or are you working on a computer a lot?
You may have lateral epicondylitis or more commonly known as tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is associated with playing tennis, but only 5% of cases originate from the activity. Tennis elbow is associated with inflammation and tiny micro-ruptures of the tendon attached to the elbow caused by repetitive overuse and stress. If you are someone who uses a computer on a daily basis or someone who uses their hands repetitively in your job or even during activities of daily living you may suffer from tennis elbow. These people have a higher chance of suffering from the tendinopathy because repetitive overuse leads to small tears in the muscles/tendon from work/habits. The majority of the muscles in the forearm on the outside of your arm insert into the outer area of your elbow. The muscles around this area are called the extensor muscles and do just that, extend the wrist. You use these muscles to hold your mobile phone, to pick up a cup of tea or twisting your arm to turn a door handle. Over a couple of months, you may find it difficult to lift or have a painful grip. There is another version called “Golfer’s Elbow” which is on the inner area of your forearm or the opposite side.
These are the most common causes of tennis elbow but other factors are at play. In our clinic, we always look to see how well the wrist, the elbow and the shoulder interact with each other. As the elbow is the joint between the wrist and shoulder and a lot of forces are passed through this joint and the muscles attached to it. This joint is similar to the knee joint which takes a lot of ground reaction forces when we walk or run. Similar forces apply in the elbow when we are lifting, gripping and throwing so it is imperative that there are no other issues on the wrist and shoulder. Unfortunately there usually is with people who suffer from this type of pain. So treating the area of pain at the elbow will not suffice. It will reduce the pain for a period of time but if there is a mechanical deficiency around the shoulder or the wrist the pain will return.
Within the clinic, tennis elbow is a common problem and can be treated very quickly through specialised treatment options that are suited to each patient and the success rate of getting patients out of pain is very high. For further information on tennis elbow or golfer's elbow please see our website: tcphysiotherapy.com and check us out on all social media platforms.