Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is the most common injury in patients seeking medical attention for elbow pain. Exactly what causes tennis elbow is unknown, but it is thought to be due to small tears of the tendons that attach forearm muscles to the arm bone at the elbow joint.
Tennis elbow occurs when there is a problem with the tendons that attach to the outside of the elbow. These tendons are the attachment of the muscles that function to cock the wrist back. Specifically, the extensor carpi radialis brevis has been implicated in causing the symptoms of tennis elbow. This muscle attaches to a part of the elbow bone called the lateral epicondyle, thus giving tennis elbow the medical name ‘lateral epicondylitis.’
It is is commonly misconstrued to be as simple as just the “inflammation” of these tendons. In all actuality, it is the degenerative process as a result of repetitive use. This process occurs when microscopic tears are incompletely healed within the tendon.
Pain over the outside of the elbow
Pain when lifting objects
Pain radiating down the forearm
Suggested Therapy & Treament
Implement immediate first aid to prevent any further injury and manage the initial pain
Seek thorough medical diagnosis and follow all medical advice throughout the recovery period
Attend a clinical practice for appropriate electrotherapy treatment, to aid recovery, re-establish function and rebuild strength
Between visits to the clinic, supplement your treatment with personal electrotherapy and manual exercise; this may reduce the recovery period
Manage on-going pain with pain relief on-demand
Help to prevent a recurrence of injury by strengthening surrounding muscle or groups of muscle.
Like all other methods of pain relief, including pharmaceuticals, TENS may not be effective for everyone.
Like all other methods of physical therapy, including manual exercise, NMS may not be suitable in all cases of muscle weakness.
Use of analgesic TENS is intended to relieve the symptoms and associated pain – never the cause.
In conjunction with any massage and exercise program devised for you, you might also follow this program at home. It may help with pain management and to hasten recovery.
Apply mild analgesic TENS therapy to assist with:
Fast and long lasting pain relief
Increased cellular activity – which starts the healing process as early as possible
Continue TENS applications of at least 60 minute duration whenever you choose, throughout the entire recovery period.
When the pain is under control, commence mild NMS physical therapy of the common extensor tendon. At this stage NMS may assist to:
Continue to enhance cellular activity
Remove waste product
Deliver protein and nutrients
Follow the treatment program instructions below. Remember that, in most cases, the speed of recovery is directly related to the frequency and length of treatments.
To help with the Rehabilitation stage we recommend you use a comfortable NMS Exercise frequency and follow the instructions below.
Once the elbow has returned to normal functioning you can start exercising the common extensor insertion and the muscle junction. See below for guidance.