“How can I have tennis elbow?” I’ve never played tennis a day in my life!” Contrary to what the name implies, tennis elbow can occur as the result of any type of repeated action that overly stresses the outside, or lateral part, of the elbow, causing inflammation and pain in the elbow. Repeated motions that use a turning or twisting of the wrist, such as using a screwdriver for a long period of time, are prime causes for tennis elbow. Even something as simple as using a broom for a day of sweeping during spring cleaning season can cause tennis elbow to develop.

In tennis elbow, the tendon that attaches the muscles to the bone becomes sore and inflamed, often developing tiny tears in the tissue. As the arm attempts to compensate for the injured tendon, muscle soreness and tenderness can also develop, resulting in widespread pain throughout the lower part of the arm, and even extending upward toward the shoulder. Simple, daily motions, especially those that involve turning the wrist, grasping or lifting, can cause considerable discomfort.

While ice and heat may cause some immediate, temporary relief and help reduce some of the inflammation, for more long-lasting results, Osteopathy is an excellent option. By applying carefully directed pressure and movement directly to the muscle tissue, as well as the surrounding area, Osteopathy can help reduce inflammation and relieve the pain and soreness that occurs from overuse and ensure that normal movement of the elbow is present to prevent it recurring. Osteopathy can also help an injured person return to their regular activities more quickly, and with less residual discomfort.

An Osteopath will also treat the shoulder and upper back which often contributes to an elbow problem when adjacent muscles and tendons take up the slack of the injured elbow tissues.

In most cases, with proper rest and Osteopathy, tennis elbow will resolve. However, to keep the painful symptoms of tennis elbow from recurring, a temporary reduction in the type of activity that caused the injury in the first place is necessary.

The West End Osteopathic Clinic Osteopaths can address both the injury and post-injury phases: in the first phase, Osteopathic techniques help soothe tennis elbow pain by alleviating swelling and tissue inflammation; in the second phase, once healing is under you’re your Osteopath will ensure adequate movement is achieved in all ranges of the elbow, wrist, shoulder and neck to help prevent muscles in the future becoming strained.

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