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  • Writer's pictureLorraine Carroll MPhty, BSc Physio, CMA

Overcoming Tennis Elbow: Jane's Journey to Pain-Free Living

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylalgia, is a condition that affects many people, not just tennis players. This painful condition can disrupt daily activities and make simple tasks challenging. Meet Jane, a dedicated office worker and weekend tennis enthusiast whose life was turned upside down by tennis elbow. Through her story, we'll explore the common symptoms, self-management tips, and how physiotherapy can help.



tennis elbow physio


Jane's Story: A Painful Interruption

Jane loved her weekends. She hit the tennis courts with friends every Saturday morning, enjoying the exercise and camaraderie. But over time, she began to feel a sharp pain on the outside of her elbow. At first, she ignored it, thinking it was just a minor ache. However, the pain worsened, making it difficult to grip her racquet or even hold a coffee cup. Frustrated and in pain, Jane decided to seek help.


Understanding Tennis Elbow: Common Symptoms

Tennis elbow occurs when the muscles and tendons that attach at the outside of your elbow are overloaded, usually due to repetitive motions of the wrist and arm. It's not limited to tennis players; anyone who performs repetitive arm movements can develop this condition. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow

  • Weakness in the forearm

  • Difficulty in gripping objects

  • Pain that worsens with wrist and hand movements

  • A burning sensation on the outer part of the elbow


Self-Management Tips for Tennis Elbow

While physiotherapy treatment is often necessary, several self-care strategies can help manage and the symptoms of tennis elbow:


  1. Rest and Activity Modification: Avoid activities that aggravate your elbow pain. Rest is crucial for healing.

  2. Ice Therapy: Apply ice packs to the affected area for 15-20 minutes several times daily to reduce pain and swelling.

  3. Pain Relief: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help manage pain and inflammation.

  4. Brace or Strap: Using a counterforce brace or elbow strap can help reduce strain on the affected tendons.


When to Seek Physiotherapy

If your symptoms persist for more than a few days despite self-care measures, it's time to consider physiotherapy. Physiotherapy is essential in managing and treating tennis elbow, offering tailored treatments that address the root cause of the problem.


Physiotherapy Techniques for Tennis Elbow

At our clinic, we use an evidence-based comprehensive approach to treat tennis elbow, combining various techniques to ensure optimal recovery:


  1. Advice and Education: We provide education on pain management, posture, mobility, load management, activity pacing, and lifestyle factors to prevent re-injury.

  2. Therapeutic Exercises: We design specific exercises to improve pain management, mobility, movement control, strength, function, and posture. These exercises are crucial in promoting healing and preventing recurrence.

  3. Manual Therapy: Techniques such as soft tissue massage, joint mobilisation, and myofascial release help alleviate pain, improve mobility, and facilitate therapeutic exercises.

  4. Medical Acupuncture and Dry Needling: These methods are used to relieve pain, promote healing, deactivate myofascial trigger points, and reduce muscle tension, providing significant relief from symptoms.

  5. Electrotherapy: Low-level laser therapy and therapeutic ultrasound may also be used to alleviate pain and promote healing and repair of the damaged tendons.


Encouraging Jane's Dreams, Allaying Her Fears

Jane was initially fearful that she might have to give up tennis, a sport she loved. At our clinic, we helped her in overcoming tennis elbow and work towards returning pain-free to the court. We justified her initial reluctance to seek treatment by explaining how common it is for people to underestimate their symptoms. By confirming that proper treatment could really make a difference, we helped her take the first step towards recovery. 


Get Back in the Game

Jane's story is an example of physiotherapy's effectiveness in managing and overcoming tennis elbow. If you or someone you know is struggling with this condition, don't let it sideline you from the activities you love. Seek professional help and start your journey to recovery today.


For more information or to book an appointment with us visit www.lcscphysiotherapy.com.au, or call us at 0735328605. You can also book online through this link. Let us help you get back in the game!


By Lorraine Carroll

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