Exploring Physical Therapy for the Treatment of Tennis Elbow

Man holding his elbow in his opposite hand.

Exploring Physical Therapy for the Treatment of Tennis Elbow

Physical therapists can vouch for the popularity of injuries linked to tennis elbow. Therapists treat issues related to tennis elbow all the time using a variety of techniques. Some are tried and true, and some are more experimental, but clients benefit from regular sessions.

One of the biggest misconceptions regarding tennis elbow is that you need to play tennis to have it. This arm injury is one that can impact anybody who often uses their hand or wrist to grip regularly. This guide will help you better understand tennis elbow and the role physical therapists play in treating the condition.

What Is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is a condition caused by strain and overuse of the extensor muscle in the wrist and forearm. A patient who is affected by tennis elbow will feel pain moving up their wrist and toward their elbow.

Often, tennis elbow is linked to gripping and twisting regularly. For instance, you can experience tennis elbow from regular driving. People who type a lot, operate levers, or push buttons for prolonged periods may suffer from tennis elbow eventually.

In most cases, tennis elbow affects people between the ages of 30 and 50. Additionally, the condition impacts more men than women. This is also usually linked to the type of jobs that involve physical movement that leads to injury.

Symptoms of tennis elbow can be gradual or quick to appear. The most common symptom is typically pain radiating into the forearm and wrist. A patient might also struggle with everyday objects, including lifting light objects and opening jars.

How Does Physical Therapy Treat Tennis Elbow?

Fortunately, physical therapy can treat many conditions, including tennis elbow thanks to the helpful nature of physical therapy CEU.

First, physical therapists help clients determine which level of modification their physical activity requires. This may include an analysis of modifications necessary for the client to return to work. The return is often a gradual one.

Then, the physical therapist works to relieve aches and pains. They address pain and inflammation with manual therapy, often performing deep tissue work.

Cold therapy may also help alleviate the symptoms of tennis elbow. Physical therapists may use ice and heat massages to relieve the symptoms of tennis elbow.

Additionally, physical therapy clients benefit from forearm braces and elastic support. Braces and other forms of support can take some of the strain away from the muscles.

Woman on exam table with a physical therapist working on her elbow.

Physical therapists do as much work as possible to help ease pain for clients for a more comfortable return to work or play.

Therapists will also demonstrate different exercises and stretches clients can perform in order to improve function and muscle strength. Learning these new movements will also help clients address issues linked to overcompensation and overloading. With movements involving stretching out to the fingers, the therapist may determine that a client should begin using rubber bands or balls to develop stronger muscles.

What Else Can Physical Therapists Do to Help?

If left untreated, the condition may progress into chronic tendonitis. This could develop into a long-lasting disability that keeps a client from working or participating in recreational physical activities. Treatment is crucial.

In order to stay on top of physical therapy trends and client needs, physical therapy CEU is helpful. Physical Therapy Courses can help you better understand the role therapists play in treating these often debilitating health issues.

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