With the summer holidays on the horizon and Wimbledon beginning, some of us may be thinking about dusting off our tennis rackets. But what about that persistent elbow pain that stopped you serving last season?!
Tennis elbow is a real problem for many tennis players, and you don’t even need to play tennis to suffer from it!
What is tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow is a condition that causes pain on the outside of the elbow. It can get so bad that even lifting up the kettle or turning a tap can be impossible. Despite its name, tennis elbow is not limited to tennis players alone. It is most commonly an over-use injury, caused by repetitive movements such as hammering, typing, using the mouse, or playing tennis!
What causes the pain?
The forearm is made up of lots of muscles that move your elbow, wrist and fingers. The forearm muscles that bend your wrist back attach onto the elbow by one single tendon. If these muscles get tight, it puts increased strain on the tendon, causing tiny tears and inflammation to develop near the bony part of the elbow. This is the start of tennis elbow.
How can I make my tennis elbow better?
Tennis elbow will usually improve itself within 6 months to two years. However, during this time, it can be debilitating and there are a number of things you can do to help speed up recovery:
Ice: In a recent tennis elbow injury, putting an ice pack on the elbow wrapped in a towel for a few minutes several times a day can help
Stretches: stretching out the forearm muscles can help to reduce the strain on the tendon. To do this, keep the elbow straight and bend the wrist forward to feel a stretch on the forearm.
Tennis Elbow Strap: These attach around the forearm, absorbing some of the forces that would otherwise by transmitted through the damaged tendon onto the elbow.
Seek the help of a physiotherapist or chiropractor: Soft tissue work to release off the forearm muscles, acupuncture and manipulation can all help to reduce the symptoms of tennis elbow.
A little note from Karen - our Sports Massage therapist:
Britain's best get Sports massages
Heather Watson, the one to watch in Women's tennis has confirmed that as part of her post match routine she has a 1 hour sports massage (You magazine 11 June 2017).
She is able to recover by having a strict routine of stretching, showering and sports massage.
So if you are not playing world class tennis but want to iron out any niggles post match then maybe a regular Sports massage will be able to assist your recovery too.
Book online here - www.bristol-chiropractic.co.uk or alternatively call us on 0117 9620100.