Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow is a common painful condition of the upper limb affecting the attachment site of the
wrist extensors tendon on the bone at the elbow, that typically results from an increase in the volume of
repetitive gripping activities, particularly with palm-down (pronated) gripping activities. The
the scientific term for this condition is Lateral Elbow Tendinopathy (unhealthy tendon on the outside of
elbow), which can be a bit of a mouthful so we’ve stuck with “Tennis Elbow” in the medical
community to keep it easy for everyone.

‘Tennis Elbow’ was originally described over 100 years ago when tennis racquets were very heavy
and frequently caused this condition, it’s uncommon to see it in Tennis today and much more
common to see it from occupational causes.

Although the term ‘Tennis Elbow”’ may be used by some health professionals to describe any pain
around the elbow area, it is reserved for pain in a very focal area (1-2inch diameter) at the bony part
on the outside of the elbow (the lateral humeral epicondyle). Patients are often misdiagnosed with
‘Tennis Elbow’ as there are many conditions that cause pain through the same area as ‘Tennis
Elbow’, including radial nerve neuropathy, cervical spine radiculopathy, posterior elbow
impingement and many more. This makes it extremely important that patients with arm pain in this
area get a thorough assessment by a Healthcare Professional to rule out these other conditions.
Although Ultrasounds are commonly ordered for ‘Tennis Elbow’ they are often not required to
manage this condition and may lead to mismanagement including costly and unnecessary injections.
Tendon tears are often found on ultrasound in this area and are often common, age-related, not a cause
for concern and usually asymptomatic (don’t cause pain), however, patients can become quite
worried if they find out about one.

Physiotherapy management for ‘Tennis Elbow’ involves:
 Ruling out and managing other conditions that cause pain in the arm.
 Identifying and dialling back aggravating activities.
 Prescribing exercises that help target the Tennis Elbow tendon.
 Hands-on manual therapy and other treatments (taping etc.) to help provide short-term

All Performance Edge Physios are experienced in treating and managing Tennis Elbow patients,
select here to book online

For more information on Tennis Elbow, select here to read a comprehensive blog by Performance
Edge Physio Nick Ilic

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