Have you ever started your game of tennis, had a quick warm up, hit a firm backhand only to feel a rip of pain run along your arm and elbow.
You might shrug this off and keep playing, putting it down to a bad shot or timing. As you warm up further the pain may subside and your back to enjoying the game.
Often though, the next time you play it happens again, and this time it lasts a lot longer. The pain doesn’t go away and continues to hurt even after the game of tennis.
You have Tennis Elbow
Right about now, you have to make a very important choice!!!
- Do you stop playing tennis until it heals, (sometimes several months or years, only to start again)
- Do you keep playing and make the condition much worse (risk of permanent injury)
- Seek treatment from a professional osteopath, continue playing and resolve the problem forever.
Tennis elbow can be cured; there is no need for surgery, injections or invasive treatment.
A qualified Osteopath with experience in the condition can provide you with relief. Don’t wait or risk further injury, Contact Vital Chi Wellness on (03) 9894 0014 today to make an appointment
What s Tennis Elbow?
- Tennis Elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is the most common cause of elbow pain.
- This condition is caused by the result of overuse & inflammation of the ECRB muscle (Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis), which is the primary muscle responsible for the action of backhand in tennis.
- It not only involves inflammation but also degeneration of the tendons over time. If left untreated this condition can become chronic, leading to abandonment of the activities you enjoy, like TENNIS!
How common is it?
- Tennis Elbow is a very common; research indicates that this condition affects approximately 50% of recreational tennis players.
What are the contributing factors?
There are multiple factors that are associated with the development of tennis elbow, and are evident in on court performance. The most common error during the backhand action is late contact with the ball. This forces the wrist into extension (backward movement) producing large impact forces on the elbow. These forces predispose the ECRB tendon to trauma where it attaches on the outside of the elbow.
Other factors that contribute increased stress on the tendon include:
- Using a racket that is strung very tightly or a racket that is too short
- Using a racquet overly head light or of incorrect weight
- Using an uncomfortable grip or racket size
- Regularly hitting the ball off centre
- Hitting heavy or wet tennis balls
- Repetitive activities off court, such as typing or using a screw driver
What are the symptoms?
- Pain radiating from the elbow down the forearm and occasionally into the wrist
- Difficulty straightening the forearm
- Pain when opening the fingers
- Pain aggravated by grasping the racket or during backhand movement
- Pain or weakness when lifting objects
- Pain persisting for weeks and worse in the morning
- When the inflammation persists and becomes chronic, the prolonged pain may lead to permanent disability, requiring regular corticosteroid injections or surgery
- If the elbow joint begins to show signs of swelling, it may indicate signs of a pathological condition, such as gout, infection, fracture or a tumor. In a case like this, help should be sought immediately.
How can Osteopathy help?
- It is important to note that tendons, structures that attach muscle to bone, have a limited blood supply and therefore do not heal easily without treatment. This is why the pain can last for months or even years.
- Ignoring the signs and symptoms of the condition or maintaining a ‘no pain no gain’ approach will likely result in permanent disability of the elbow.
- Appropriate treatment and care can reduce the associated complication, making it easier to live a healthy active life and enjoy the sports you love, like tennis.
- Osteopathic treatment relives the tension in the ECRB tendon through a wide range of techniques including cross friction massage, joint manipulation, muscle stretching and dry needling are used to stimulate healing and reduce pain.
In between treatments
Dr Tanvi will provide you with detailed instructions on how to reduce the load on the elbow, minimize inflammation and continue your activities.