Physical Therapy for Tennis Elbow

By Collin McGowan, SPT

Physical therapy for tennis elbowAcute Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) is an injury to the muscles that extend the wrist and fingers. The site of injury is typically the lateral epicondyle, a bony bump on the outside of the elbow where these muscles attach. Tennis Elbow symptoms that have lasted more than 6 weeks are considered to be sub-acute and beyond three months, as chronic tennis elbow.

What are Tennis Elbow Symptoms?

Typically, the Tennis Elbow sufferer will experience pain when performing gripping tasks; resisted wrist/finger extension; and when the muscles are stretched. There will be tenderness directly over the bony epicondyle, and there may be trigger points in the wrist muscles.

What Causes Acute Tennis Elbow?

Acute Tennis Elbow is caused by damaged muscle tissue at the point it anchors to the arm bone at the elbow. It occurs when more force is applied to an area than the normal healthy tissues can handle.

Common Tennis Elbow Causes include:

  • Unaccustomed hand use/overuse injury (painting a fence, excessive hammering, excessive typing, etc.)
  • Excessive gripping or wringing activities
  • Poor forearm muscle strength or tight muscles

Physical Therapy for Tennis Elbow

Physical therapy can help reduce elbow pain; facilitate tissue repair; restore normal joint range of motion and function; and restore normal muscle length, strength and movement patterns. Physical therapy treatment for tennis elbow can include, but is not limited to: gentle mobilization of elbow joints; iontophoresis; elbow kinesio taping; muscle stretching and strengthening, neural glides and massage.

For more information and treatment options for tennis elbow, call 518-289-5242 or contact the therapists at Capital Area Physical Therapy. Treatment is available at their Malta physical therapy clinic and Queensbury physical therapy locations.
Malta, NY