Acute Tennis Elbow is caused by damaged muscle tissue at the point where the muscle anchors to the arm bone at the elbow. It occurs when force applied to the area is greater than healthy tissue usually handles.
- Unaccustomed movement. i.e. painting a fence, excessive typing
- Excessive gripping activities
- Poor forearm muscle strength
- Poor technique (poor tennis/golf shot)
Typically, the symptoms for tennis elbow is experiencing pain when gripping items or resisted finger extensions. Pain may also be present when the forearm muscle is stretched. Sufferers may also feel stiffness and tenderness in their neck, as well as signs of nerve irritation.
Tennis Elbow can be clinically diagnosed by physiotherapist and doctors from injury history and confirmatory clinical test. Additionally, an ultrasound scan or MRI are the best test to identify tendon tears or inflammation.
Physiotherapy has shown to be effective in long and short term management of tennis elbow.
Physiotherapy aims to achieve a:
- Reduction in elbow pain
- Facilitation of Tissue repair
- Restoration of normal joint range of motion and function
- Restoration of normal muscle strength
Treatments can include gentle mobilisation of associated joints (neck and elbow), shockwave therapy, elbow kinesis taping, massage and strengthening. In certain cases, an elbow brace may be beneficial.