Tennis elbow


Tennis elbow,  is the most common overuse injury in the adult elbow, and causes the bony prominence on the outside of the elbow to become painful and tender. The extensor muscles of the forearm, which extend ( straighten) the wrist, become strained from overuse, causing inflammation and pain where they attach to the bone. The supinator muscle which allows the forearm to be twisted to the palm up position also attaches to the lateral  and can cause tennis elbow. Tendons attached to the bones of the elbow can become restricted or taut, causing irritation.

Cause of injury

Overuse of the muscles attached to the elbow. Direct injury to the elbow. Arthritis, rheumatism or gout.

Signs and symptoms

Outer part of the elbow is painful and tender to touch. Movement is painful. Elbow is inflamed.

Complications if left unattended

Tennis elbow is generally treated without surgery, though discomfort will often worsen, with the potential for tendon or muscle damage should the condition be ignored.

Immediate treatment

Avoidance of the activities causing repetitive stress to the elbow. RICER regimen for 48-72 hours following injury. Use of anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Often a splint or bandage will be used to immobilize the injured elbow and prevent excess movement. Activities involving repetitive stress to the elbow or extensor muscles of the wrist should be avoided until the condition improves. Should surgery be required a rest period of six weeks is advised before strengthening exercises begin.

Long-term prognosis

Few patients suffering from tennis elbow require surgery. Of the small percentage that do, 80-90% find the condition markedly improved.

Sports and deep-tissue massage for recovery

While every type of massage is effective in improving circulation and boosting relaxation, which is encouraged by the release of serotonin that works as a natural pain-killer and mood-booster, Sports Massage can be particularly effective for people whose tennis elbow is literally a result of playing tennis.

Your Sports Massage therapist at Lucas Massage Therapy can focus specifically on the troublesome area, help to promote flexibility, reducing muscle soreness, lengthen muscles, loosen scar tissue and provide deep pain relief, all of which is beneficial for injuries caused by overuse.


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