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  • Writer's pictureDr. Clint Woo, DPT, PT

Tennis Elbow. What Is It And What Can I Do About It?

You don't even play tennis so why is there pain at the outside of your elbow that has been worsening for weeks/months? It seems to come on after an activity where your are manipulating your hands or bending your elbows a lot. Tennis elbow is the common name for lateral epicondylitis due to the association to the backswing and this type of injury. The lateral epicondyle is the bony end of the outer elbow where the tendons that extend your wrist attach.

If you aren't able to tell what activities are bothering your elbow at the moment, then we suggest keeping a journal where every other hour of the day, you write down what you have down so far and how your elbow feels. Do this everyday for a few days and chances are you will be able to determine which activities are exacerbating your lateral epicondylitis. At this point we suggest working with a physical therapist so that they can assess your level of injury and then get you started on a custom stretching, strengthening, and form correcting program. As we have discussed in past articles, having a custom program is extremely important for you to make the greatest recovery possible in the shortest time! Some common exercises the therapist may have you do is gentle wrist extension resistance, manual therapy for the tendon that lies across the outer elbow, stretching by flexing your wrist.

For those of you who actually sustained this injury from tennis; it would benefit your therapist to record yourself performing several backhand swings to understand what your mechanics look like. While we aren't necessarily tennis pros ourselves, we are still the experts at analyzing the mechanics that are going on during a movement and how it impacts your pain. We at Woo Physical Therapy and Wellness approach your rehab from an all encompassing standpoint and can connect with your coach/partner about we what see and ask THEM what their suggestions are for any possible modifications whether temporary or more long term (again this is us acknowledging we aren't necessarily professional coaches in every single sport out there)!

The good news is is that therapy is the prime method of healing from such sports injuries and that we can get you back on the courts!

This is not intended to be professional advice. Please speak with a physician or physical therapist. Invest in yourself by bring the physical rehab to your home! We at Woo Physical Therapy and Wellness are proud to serve the Anne Arundel, Howard, and Prince George's counties in-home and online anywhere in the U.S.A. for wellness!!

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