Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow, which is also known as Lateral Epicondylalgia, causes pain around the outside of the elbow. Tennis Elbow is very common amongst tennis players, golfers and manual workers who perform heavy or repetitive tasks.
The muscles and tendons that cause the problem are those that control your wrist. Injury to these muscles and tendons can occur through repetitive or forceful twisting of the forearm or by gripping activities with the elbow out straight.

Diagnosis of Tennis Elbow

Specific special tests are used in clinical examination to diagnose tennis elbow. These are performed during the initial examination with your hand therapist.
We will ask you to complete the Patient Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation form.

Download here: Patient Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation

We require a combination of factors to make a diagnosis. One of these is almost always a reduction in the pain free grip strength. We measure this with a Jamar dynamometer.
In some cases it may be necessary to obtain an ultrasound to rule out a large tear or ligament damage to the elbow.

Hand Therapy for Tennis Elbow

Once a definite diagnosis of tennis elbow is made, treatment will include some or all of the following:
Splinting to rest the muscles and tendons
Education and advice on how to avoid making the situation worse
Work station/ sport ergonomic evaluation and modification
Grip retraining
Graduated exercise rehabilitation and strengthening over 6 weeks
Kinesiology taping
Soft tissue massage or dry needling
Neck and shoulder physiotherapy if required

Current research

Current research shows that graduated strengthening of the tendon is the crucial element of rehabilitation for moderate to severe Tennis Elbow.
Strengthening is also essential to avoid a recurrence.
Tendons regain their normal ability to manage a load through steady load bearing activities over time once the original pain and swelling has subsided.

Severe Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow can be severe right from the start, or it can become severe with inadequate or incorrect treatment.
20% of Tennis Elbow cases don't achieve a satisfactory result.
The best chance of success if you have severe Tennis Elbow is firstly to get an assessment.
This assessment includes a patient rated tennis elbow evaluation form as well as a thorough clinical assessment.
The treatment for severe Tennis Elbow often requires a team approach and specific medications.

Download and fill in the form below.
Bring this with you to your first hand therapy appointment.

Patient Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation