Understanding and Overcoming Tennis Elbow: Lateral Epicondylalgia Demystified

Understanding and Overcoming Tennis Elbow: Lateral Epicondylalgia Demystified

Lateral epicondylalgia, more commonly known as tennis elbow, is a condition characterized by pain over the lateral elbow, often stemming from muscle overuse or direct trauma to the area. While prevalent in individuals aged 35-54, particularly those engaged in repetitive hand tasks, tennis elbow does not discriminate and can affect anyone. Research indicates that over 50% of individuals being treated for tennis elbow report ongoing symptoms even after 12 months. However, with the right treatment plan and care, recovery becomes more attainable.

Signs and Symptoms:

If you're grappling with tennis elbow, you'll likely experience pain around the lateral elbow, with potential extension down the back of the forearm. Certain activities that involve gripping or bending the wrist backward, such as wringing out a towel, carrying shopping bags, turning keys, pouring coffee, lifting weights, or typing, can exacerbate the pain.

Management Strategies:

  • Activity Modification:
  • If overuse is the culprit, reducing or modifying your activities to a more manageable level is crucial. This allows you to function with minimal or no pain.
  • Ice Therapy:
  • Ice can be a valuable ally in controlling pain, especially during acute phases of irritation. Applying ice can help manage inflammation and provide relief.
  • Stretching Exercises:
  • Stretching the muscles on the back of the forearm is beneficial in reducing tension along the tendon and promoting better healing. Incorporating these stretches into your routine can contribute to pain alleviation.
  • Strengthening Program:
  • An appropriate strengthening program is essential for restoring pain-free functionality. Targeting muscles involved in wrist extension and palm supination is key. Strengthening exercises focused on these movements will play a pivotal role in bringing your arm back to full strength and function.

Recovery Roadmap:

While tennis elbow can be a persistent challenge, adopting a comprehensive approach that combines activity modification, ice therapy, stretching exercises, and a structured strengthening program enhances the likelihood of a successful recovery. If you're dealing with tennis elbow, seeking guidance from a physiotherapist ensures a tailored plan that aligns with your specific needs and goals. Stay tuned for our next blog, where we'll delve deeper into advanced exercises for tennis elbow rehabilitation.

Andrew Huynh

Hi everyone, I’m Andrew and I head ESPR Therapy & Training. I’m passionate about helping people discover their potential and achieving their goals. For me, that means building resilience and strength (both physical and mental) in you to overcome whatever obstacles you’re facing. I completed my Bachelors in physiotherapy at the University of Sydney in 2017 which has taken me to both public and private sectors. A key highlight of my career is working within an elite NPL 1 soccer team which involved modifying training loads and integrating rehab programs to help athletes recover and return to the field ASAP. Over the years, I developed an interest in the area of strength and conditioning which led me to complete an internship at one of Sydney’s most renowned S&C gyms - Ethos Performance. From this, I learnt how to program training blocks so that athletes can gain the specific movement qualities that will enhance their sporting performance. I have also completed further study & training in pain science and dry needling which allowed me to understand and minimise patients symptoms. Outside of work, I train regularly in MMA and spoil my 2 beautiful pupperinos - Nala and Kira - to bush walks and hikes. If you have an injury or training goals, I’ve got your back!