Or to give it the medical terminology ‘Lateral Epicondylitis’. This is a common condition that effects the outside of your elbow. It results from inflammation and micro tearing of the fibres in the tendons that extend your forearm.
As mentioned you don’t have to be a sportsperson to incur this condition, it can arise from repetitive forceful turning (supination/pronation) of the forearm extensor muscles.
- Non-Sport: Jobs such as using a screwdriver on a daily basis, gardeners for excess pruning, plasterers from high demand turning the wrist/forearm and hand.
- Sport: Most racquet sports, polo, hockey (golf affects the medial side of the elbow)
But that’s not the whole story. Why does it happen?
There can be various predisposing factors as to why this happens. It can be as a direct result of taking up a new activity or sport that your forearms have not been used to. Also there could be weakness in the shoulder or wrist muscles which cannot support the demands on the smaller muscles of the elbow. There could also be an imbalance between the flexors and the extensor muscles in the forearm.
If it’s a racquet sport induced injury, then it may be worth getting your technique checked out and address if the racquet is strung too tightly – these can all be easily rectifiable factors which may be of comfort to know that you won’t have to give up your sport indefinitely.
Self Help: What can you do to help yourself prior to seeking treatment?
Temporary rest away from the activities that provoke symptoms, ice, gentle stretching
“I’ve tried that and I’ve tried anti-inflammatories but it’s not going away……..”
What can Osteopaths do to help?
- Assess and diagnose if you have Lateral Epicondylitis
- Advise you on how to deal with it according to your circumstance
- Treatment incorporating a range of techniques and modalities designed to manage and rehabilitate you as an individual
- Advice on addressing any imbalance found on examination
- Strengthening exercises given where required