Tennis elbow is a condition that causes pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow. The pain can be mild and only cause some pain on gripping activities, or it can be very severe, and constant enough to disrupt sleep at night.
Most people we see with this aren’t actually tennis players! It’s caused usually by too much gripping and twisting of your wrist, such as using a paintbrush, or the garden sheers. It can also be caused by gripping the mouse of the computer too much, or in an awkward position. The condition is caused by a problem with the tendon that joins your forearm muscles onto the outside of your elbow, it’s called the common extensor tendon. The tendon can become very irritated, and if it remains irritated for some time it can begin to break down and weaken.
Modifying activities in the short term can help the tendon settle down. Taping techniques, soft tissue release techniques and acupuncture can all help the process of it settling.
Specific strengthening exercises to help rebuild the tendon are usually necessary, especially if the elbow has been sore for some time. Completing a rehab programme for the elbow can help prevent the problem returning.
It used to be called Achiiles tendonitits, but research as shown that the Achilles tendon doesn’t actually become inflamed. It causes classic symptoms of pain and stiffness around the back of the heel and through the tendon itself, especially first thing in the morning, and also when you first get up from sitting down for a while.
The pain can range from mild and niggly, to really quite painful causing it difficult to walk properly.
Overloading the tendon causes it. And there are a lot of factors that can cause overload. We break these down into intrinsic or extrinsic factors. Intrinsic factors are things that arise from inside the body, like having biomechanical issues, such as poor foot posture, or tight hamstrings or weak glutes. Lots of biomechanical faults can cause overload to the Achiiles tendon. Extrinsic factors are things that occur outside the body, like wearing inappropriate footwear or having poor training routines that don’t incorporate enough rest and recovery.
Our assessment aims to identify the specific factors that are causing your problem. We don’t have one specific programme for managing this condition, become it completely depends on what’s causing it.
But usually treatment will involve some hands-on treatment, and a specifically graded exercise programme, with the goal of getting you to return to what you love to do.
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