Physiotherapy & Sports Physiotherapists | Motion Health

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Sore Elbow?

Published: 16 July 2019 - Injury Treatment and Prevention, Pain Management


Need Physio Treatment for Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow?

We love helping clients that suffer from tennis elbow or its irritating sister, golfer’s elbow. Here is a guide to what they are, and an insight into how we can help.


What is Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)?

This is an inflammation triggered by slight tears of the tendons that join the muscles of the forearm to the outside of your elbow. Some practitioners will call tennis elbow ‘lateral elbow pain’ or ‘lateral epicondylitis’ and it is not just tennis players that can suffer from it. That said, it is certainly more common in tennis players, due to the nature of the repetitive muscle use in that sport. This condition is also common in tradies who swing a hammer or similar tools, and keen gardeners that need to do repetitive tasks.


What is Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer's Elbow)?

This occurs when tendons on the inside of the forearm become irritated and sore due to repeated use of the forearm, wrist and hand. The group of muscles affected are those that move the thumb, fingers and wrist. The muscle group attaches to your upper arm along the inside of your elbow. Pain is felt where the tendon connects to the bone. Repeated force can lead the tendon to become sore. In certain cases, without treatment, the tendon could completely detach from the bone.


How can a Physiotherapist Help?

We recommend that you visit a Motion Health practice for a free initial assessment as soon as you feel elbow pain. Tendons have terribly slow blood flow, so without the right care, problems can continue for months and years. If we determine that you have golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow, we will devise a treatment and rehab plan that is specific to your lifestyle and goals. Your individual treatment program may include:

  • Ice or Heat to relieve pain.
  • Splinting or bracing to control movement.
  • The prescription of rest to avoid further stress on the tendon.

Various rehab techniques we use:

  • Gentle joint movements
  • Soft-tissue massage
  • Wrist, forearm and elbow stretches to help the muscles regain full movement.
  • Manual stretching to your thoracic spine, neck and shoulder to avoid issues in related body areas.
  • Training you to do stretches and strengthening exercises at home in between practice visits.
  • Clinical Pilates and the gradual use of weights.

Education is a critical element of the Motion Health Results4Life process. Your physiotherapist may recommend changes in certain movements and activities to reduce the likelihood of further damage. This could be as simple as using a nail gun instead of a hammer, or as complex as consulting with your coach to modify your tennis / golf swing.

Your physiotherapist can be your health coach, supporting you in your journey to full and effective recovery. Physiotherapists are university trained experts in human movement, so we are best placed to monitor your movement and minimize load on your elbow. We are here to safely get you back to your best and ensure you develop and stick to new habits during work and play.

Experiencing elbow pain? Contact us today to book your Free Initial Assessment!