Tennis Elbow Therapy

Physical Therapy for Tennis Elbow

Does tennis elbow affect only the tennis players? What are the physiotherapy treatments to be followed? Read to know how physical therapy helps in treating this condition.

review for tennis elbow treatment with ultrasound

Tennis elbow also referred to, as lateral epicondylitis is inflammation at the lateral portion of the elbow. The affected part becomes tender and sore. Symptoms include stiffness of the arm, forearm, wrist and may also affect other body parts such as neck and shoulder bone.

Tennis elbow is caused by overuse of the arm, which results in small tears of the tendon. Blood supply to the affected part is decreased. Tennis elbow affects not only the tennis players but also the people where their profession requires repetitive use of the arm and forearm.

Rest from activity and ice packs can treat the mild cases but it is always better to consult a physician if pain remains for a longer duration. Doctors diagnose tennis elbow with a brief history and physical examination. Mostly preferred line of treatment is the use of anti-inflammatory medications and physiotherapy.

Physical Therapy for Tennis Elbow

Physical therapy mainly involves stretching and arm movements that help in overall strengthening of the muscle group. Physiotherapy is the most commonly followed treatment for tennis elbow. Here are some important physiotherapy treatments implemented for tennis elbow.

Massage Therapy – Gentle massaging over the affected area can help in increasing the blood circulation and quickens the natural healing capacity of the muscles and tendons. Massaging techniques may be of different types such as gentle strokes, application of light or heavy pressure and holding a part of a muscle.

Manual Therapy – Manual therapy includes putting pressure on muscles, careful pulling, pushing of bones and joints for proper alignment. These are performed to mobilize the affected area and also increase their flexibility.

Ultrasound – Ultrasound treatment is application of heat on the affected area. The temperature of the applied heat differs with condition and age of the person. The heat applied will help in proper blood circulation and helps in strengthening the affected muscles and tendons.

Electrical Stimulation – Electrical stimulation including transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) involves use of electric current to transfer energy to an affected area. Electric current is passed using two wet electrode pads, which are placed at the affected area. The electric current masks the pain signal sent by the brain and provides pain relief.

In addition to the above physiotherapy treatments, therapists can advice tennis elbow exercises and to change equipments and techniques, which cause tennis elbow. The recovery time may vary from several weeks to several years depending upon the severity. If pain increases consult your physiotherapist or other health practitioner to guide you to the right treatment.

By Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Published: 11/14/2008

Understanding the Basics of Tennis Elbow

Rest is the best therapy option of recovery from any injury before embarking on any intensive remedial therapy and tennis elbow is no exception. Perhaps a few days or even a few weeks rest is required before you can think of doing anything else.