The most common elbow problems we see by far are Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow. Both of these are tendinopathies at the elbow joint. Tennis Elbow, medically called Lateral Epicondyle Tendinopathy or Common Extensor Origin Tendinopathy, is a degenerative condition of the tendons of the forearm extensor muscles that connect into the lateral epicondyle of the elbow. Pain often occurs on gripping or extending the wrist such as opening jars, holding a tennis racket or keyboard use. It is characterized by increased thickness, pain and swelling of the insertional tendon at the lateral epicondyle and is treated following the same protocols as tendinopathies.
Golfer’s elbow (Common Flexor Origin Tendinopathy or Medial Epicondylopathy) is a degenerative condition of the flexor tendons of the forearm that insert into the medial epicondyle at the elbow. It is characterised by thickening, pain and swelling of the insertional tendons at the medial epicondyle and is treated following a tendinopathy protocol. Pain often occurs with flexion (bending) or the wrist and pronation (turning thumb down) – the typical movement of a golf swing, hence the name.
The tendinopathy protocol involves pain reduction, tendon load management, and strengthening using a gradual tendon loading program.
It is important to understand that tendons do not heal with rest, they get weaker and ultimately the problem becomes worse. They also do not heal if overloaded, again they will become aggravated and then deteriorate. The solution is the promotion of healing by controlled loading (as opposed to complete offloading and rest) and slow, graded, specific tendon loading protocols.
Our physios are experts at correctly assessing the current tolerable tendon load and designing an appropriate program to get your tendon healing. As part of your program, your physio will address the muscle balance around your elbow to correct any poor movement/control.
Our expert physiotherapists are trained to assess your elbow problem and determine the cause. We will then provide you with an evidence based treatment and rehabilitation plan to get you moving and functioning your best. The services and types of treatment that may help are: