Tennis Elbow

What is Tennis Elbow?

Ok Barrhaven! Everyone have heard of “Tennis Elbow” before. I see quite a bit of this diagnosis in my Barrhaven physiotherapy clinic. Everyone walking into physiotherapy with elbow pain think they have tennis elbow. Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epichondilitis, is the inflammation of the attachment of the wrist extensor muscles. Pain is usually located on the outside of the elbow, on the bony protrusion illustrated below. Pressure on that bone will often be very painful. A common symptom of tennis elbow is usually pain on the outside of the elbow with hand use (lifting, cooking, reaching, computer use, etc.).

lateral epichondilitis physiotherapy

Common Possible Causes

  • Overuse (computer, gardening, sports, etc.)
  • Elbow Joint Stiffness
  • Trauma

Effective Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques 

  • Muscle Release
  • Joint Mobilisation
  • Controlled Loading/Strengthening Exercises
  • Acupuncture
  • Dry-Needling/IMS
  • Taping
  • Shockwave Therapy

Other Diagnosis That Might Be Confused With Tennis Elbow

  • Posterior interosseous nerve (PIN) syndrome
    • Pain will be located more on the forearm muscle bulk, instead of on the attachment site of the tendons on the bone.
  • Nerve Impingement at Neck
    • Will often be associated with numbness/tingling, or pain going up or down the arm, and not just local to the elbow.

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About the Author:

Lily Zhang

Lily Zhang is a registered physiotherapist with training specializing in the McKenzie Method.  She graduated from McGill University and is currently working in Barrhaven (Ottawa, ON). She has over 10 years of professional training/clinical experience in orthopedic physiotherapy.  You can Follow Her Blog @PhysioVive Facebook Page.


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