You don’t have to be a tennis player to get tennis elbow. Tennis elbow, the term used since it is common among tennis players, is technically a condition called lateral epicondylitis.
It involves the muscles and tendons of the forearm that attach to the outside bony area of the elbow. The condition also occurs on the inside, often referred to as “golfer’s elbow,” or back of the elbow as well. This condition is caused by overuse of the forearm, arm and hand muscles, causing elbow pain.
Symptoms of tennis elbow include pain around the outside of the elbow, which worsens when squeezing the hand. Pain can increase when moving the wrist, such as handling objects like utensils or lifting something.
Tennis elbow is more common among men than women, and although it can affect up to 50% of tennis players at one point in their careers, it can occur amongst anyone whose activities require repetitive motion in the arm, elbow, wrist and hand.
Physical Therapy for Tennis Elbow
Physical therapy for tennis elbow employs a great deal of manual therapy, including cross friction massage, to help facilitate healing. Strengthening and mobility exercises as well as behavior modification are also done as part of a home education program.
Modalities: Cold laser and/or infrared light therapy, ultrasound, electric stimulation, icing, possibly heat, Graston Technique®, possibly bracing.