Physio Centre


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Guinea Court, 6 Bell Street, Shaftesbury,
Dorset. SP7 8AR.

About Tennis Elbow






One of the most frequent injuries to the arm is tennis elbow - not alas confined to tennis players. Other sports and every day activities can cause it such as gardening and lifting. The muscles on the back of the forearm, which straighten the fingers and pull the wrist backwards, merge into one tendon on the bony part of the outside of the elbow. This is the common extensor tendon which can be strained by activities which overwork or over stretch the forearm muscles, like hard gripping movements or excessive wrist movements.

It can be caused by tennis usually when playing a backhand. The sudden force of the ball bending the wrist forward whilst gripping the tennis racket handle tightly damages the common extensor tendon. Once the tendon has become inflamed any use of the muscles of the forearm can cause pain at the elbow and often down the forearm. Gripping, lifting and straightening the elbow can all cause pain. The patient complains of a gradually increasing pain over the outer bony part of the elbow which is quite severe on certain movements.

When tennis elbow is very acute the pain is constant and any movements that stress the tendon such as gripping, lifting and even fine movements like pinching, writing or using a knife and fork can aggravate the elbow. The tendon also feels tender and sore to touch. Patients with these early signs of tennis elbow need to seek professional medical attention as soon as possible. Even if the condition has been there a long time it can still be treated.


Resting the arm will help to prevent aggravation - tennis elbow is not condition that you can exercise through.

Treatment with Connective Tissue Manipulation and Manual Lymph Drainage will help to reduce the pain and stiffness and restore normal movement and function. By improving the circulation to the tendon it is able to settle the inflammation down and heal more quickly. By reducing the tension in the tendon the fibres are able to glide on each other and allow movement without causing discomfort and pain.

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