Tennis elbow is the common name given to pain that radiates from the outside part of the elbow joint. While it can occasionally be seen in tennis players with faulty technique, most often it occurs in office workers and manual laborers who tend to hold their wrists in an upward position for long periods of time.
The correct name for this condition is extensor ‘tendinopathy’. The cause is frequently due to overuse of the wrist extensor muscle group, which causes collagen disarray in the tendon where it inserts onto the outside bone of the elbow. Tendons do not have a good blood supply and therefore it is common for the condition to become very painful and chronic.
Physiotherapy can help the tendon heal by using a number of modalities and techniques including deep tissue massage/frictions, acupuncture, mobilisation, ultrasound, taping and eccentric exercises. Specific braces can also be fitted to alleviate the pain while the tendon heals.