Tennis and golfers elbow are repetitive strain injuries (RSI) to the tendons of the forearm at the elbow. When people suffer these complaints they can find it difficult to resolve, and the pain can very disruptive to peoples lives.
Because these complaints are a type of repetitive strain it means the injury has been slowly developing over a significant period of time. This is often the result of day-to-day stresses being too much for the area to tolerate and, over time, the tendon becomes damaged and inflamed. For more information on RSI injuries see our other blog post: Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI).
The key to managing these complaints is successfully adapting your lifestyle to reduce the strain that is continuing to aggravate the pain. Tasks that involve strenuous use of the hand such as heavy lifting, manual labour, or gardening should be reviewed. As should low strain but high repetition tasks such as, writing, typing, sewing, etc. Aids such as a tennis elbow support can be used to help reduce the strain of the day-to-day task, but these are a temporary measure as you try to improve the tendons ability to cope.
Exercise therapy is a key part of what we use at the Spine and Sports Injury clinic to help the area recover and to prevent recurrence of the injury. The exercises should always be performed at a level that doesn’t aggravate the pain otherwise you may find the complaint gets worse. Our new exercise sheet shows some simple exercises for Tennis elbow and for golfers elbow. These are especially good at improving the strength and endurance of the area to help prevent the compliant from occurring. Before starting however, make sure you have the area assessed to help determine if the exercises are suitable for you to perform. In some cases it is necessary to begin at a much lower intensity. For more information please feel free to contact us.