Anyone for Tennis? Prevention and Treatment of Tennis Elbow.

Welcome back to my blog. 

Whenever Wimbledon is on television lots of people around the country start playing tennis. As the weather has been so bad this year fewer have ventured out onto a court but tennis elbow is still a common problem.


What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow – or lateral epicondylitis to give it its proper name – can be caused by a number of sports, not just tennis, and occurs when you overuse the muscle that extends from the elbow to the wrist joint, the extensor carpi radialis brevis. It can cause extreme pain on the outside of the elbow, around the bony part, and if you’ve had the condition for a long time there may be some degeneration of the tendon.

If you are experiencing this sort of pain I would recommend that you visit an osteopath who will be able to assess the damage and start treatment – the sooner you see someone about it the better. Through manipulation your osteopath will encourage the muscle to repair though you’ll have to be patient as this type of injury can take a long time to recover. Unfortunately people often try to live with tennis elbow hoping it will improve on its own before seeking treatment.

Once you’ve seen your osteopath they will probably advise you to use hot and cold treatments at home on the painful area to increase blood flow and aid recovery. They will also be able to advise you on what measures you can take to look after your arm, such as what positions to avoid to make sure you don’t aggravate the injury.


Prevention is better than cure

As with all injuries, prevention is better than cure. In practice it isn’t always possible not to use your arm for repetitive movements but if you follow these tips they will reduce your chances of suffering from tennis elbow:

  • stretch and warm up thoroughly before you take part in any sporting activity
  • use the right sports equipment for your size and weight
  • keep your back, neck and shoulder strong when you use the middle part of your arm
  • keep your muscles in good condition by making muscle strengthening exercises part of your fitness regime

I hope these tips help you – whether you decide to venture out onto your local tennis court or not. If you do suffer from pain in your arm or suspect you might have tennis elbow please visit myself or another health professional as soon as possible.

Please feel free to ask any questions or leave a comment below.

In health,

John Yeboah.

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