Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis as it is technically known, is a common overuse injury of the forearm where pain is caused from gripping, and movements of the wrist. However, your pain may not actually be Tennis Elbow!! Read on to find out how massage can help…
Tennis Elbow involves the extensor tendons, particularly where all the forearm muscles converge to form the Common Extensor Tendon and attach at the site of the lateral epicondyle on the outside of the elbow. In addition, the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle plays a key role.
It is classified as a chronic tendinosis and is usually caused by repetitive wrenching of the forearm while playing racquet games such as tennis, specifically with backhand or ground strokes and pain generally comes on gradually.
It can be quite debilitating, as most movements involving the arm and wrist will induce pain especially wrist extension and supination (e.g. turning a screwdriver) and lifting movements and the elbow area will usually ache continuously. There is often a lack of strength accompanying the condition.
If this is the case then it may take several weeks or months of Physiotherapy and/or Remedial Massage with techniques such as Transverse Frictions to come good. It is also advised to wear a forearm strap on and off during the day, especially when using the arm under heavy load.
Although as much as 50% of tennis players with be afflicted with Tennis Elbow at one point or another due to excessive use of the muscles of the back of the forearm, tennis only accounts for approximately 5% of all people who suffer from this disease.
So why are you experiencing Tennis Elbow pain when you are probably part of the 95% that don’t play tennis I hear you ask?
Well, often in our modern society due to repetitive computer work or manual labor, we can acquire the same like symptoms of tennis elbow tendinosis through overuse, and this would be in fact a chronic tendinopathy most likely from active trigger points in the forearm and is often misdiagnosed as Tennis Elbow.
Forearm tendinopathy can be treated simply through massage and may involve myofascial tension techniques, trigger point therapy and general massage and frictions to help soften the adhesions in the forearm, release trigger points, elongate the fascia and muscle tissue, and relieve pain and fatigue, to get the forearm functioning properly again.
It is important to stretch and self massage to keep your forearms in good condition, however if it has gotten past that point and you are in pain, best to book a remedial massage as soon as possible to get on top of it before it gets worse.
Hope we can help,