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“Why do I have tennis elbow if I’ve never played tennis?”

Posted on 4th July 2017 by

It’s a question we hear a lot in physio! The term ‘tennis elbow’ is the commonly used (and much easier to pronounce) name to describe what’s actually known in the medical world as ‘lateral epicondylalgia’ or ‘lateral epicondylitis‘, meaning ‘pain on the outside of the elbow’.

ennis elbow physioTennis elbow is a common type of elbow pain which occurs when the tendon of our wrist extensors muscles (the muscles that life our wrist up) becomes inflamed and irritated where they insert on the outside of the elbow. Because these wrist extensor muscles are worked extra hard in tennis which requires both a strong grip and explosive flicks of the wrist for back hand shots, these two names became synonymous.

However tennis elbow can occur in any one who does a lot of repetitive wrist extension or gripping activities and can be classified as a repetitive strain injury (RSI). In fact, it probably affects more non-tennis player’s than tennis players! Outside of the tennis world we see it a lot in office workers who spend long periods of time typing or who have a poor ergonomic set up, who come to see us with pain in their elbow.

In the early stages, tennis elbow can be treated effectively with rest, ice, anti-inflammatories and modification of activities to change the way you lift, grip or type. For example, lifting an object using your hand palm-up rather than palm down uses different muscle groups so affords the wrist extensors some rest.

Using ergonomic keyboards and mouse set ups (e.g. vertical mouse) can also reduce the strain on these muscles.

Unfortunately, this condition can be persistent if you don’t change the aggravating activities or have left it and it has become a longer term issue. If the above simple strategies aren’t working for you, you’ve been experiencing problems for some time or the pain is limiting you doing what you want or need to do everyday, come and seek our help. We’ll be able to assess you in detail and use a combination of manual therapy, ultrasound, acupuncture and strength and flexibility exercises to speed up your recovery. We’ll also ask about your day to day activities you struggle with and offer helpful solutions to modify these, or use of an Epi-clasp strap to offload the area if necessary. Remember the sooner you seek help the quicker and easier it is to get your pain better, so don’t’ let it linger on!

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Anyone for tennis?

Posted on 29th June 2017 by

Wimbledon 2017With Wimbledon starting next week our attention turns to the tennis courts. Whilst you’re enjoying the obligatory Pimms, strawberrys and cream this year you may feel inspired to get on the court and try it out for yourself. In this blog we take a look at the health benefits of tennis, how it can help you get in shape this summer and importantly how to avoid injury.

Tennis is truly a full body work out; a single 1 hour game can burn as many as 600 calories and requires cardiovascular fitness, endurance, quick reaction speed, power and flexibility. The professional’s can serve a ball at over 130mph and will use both brain and brawn to defeat their opponent.

The good news is you don’t need to be super fit to get started, tennis is suitable for people of all ages and abilities so whether you’re a complete novice or a competitive club player it’s a great way of keeping in shape, developing tactical skills, as well as enjoying the social side of things off the court.

New to tennis?

If you’re new to tennis, start with a friendly game, aiming to keep the ball in play for as long as possible. This will help you learn hand-eye coordination skills and sharpen your reaction time. If you’re not used to regular exercise a doubles game means a little less running around and doesn’t require quite as much flexibility to reach the ball.

Tennis can be a great way to meet new people or get the kids more active over the summer holidays. Playing regularly can help to lower your resting heart rate and blood pressure, improve your metabolic function, reduce cholesterol and body fat, improve co-ordination and increase bone density. It can even help combat stress and anxiety.

Take a look at the following local opportunities to play tennis:

Hiltingbury Tennis Courts – Get yourself a key card for just £10. You can book courts or pop along for open access.

Eastleigh Park Sport – are running a range of tennis sessions this summer for 8 – 16 year olds for just £1 a session!

Find your nearest tennis court here, on the LTA website.

Tennis for kids gives 5 – 8 years olds an opportunity to learn the basics of tennis in a free 6 week course.

Avoid Injury

tennis racquet grip sizeTo avoid injury make sure you get the basics right first – if you have current injuries or health problems get them checked out by a physiotherapist or by your GP before you start playing.

Make sure you pick an appropriate beginners racquet with the correct grip size to avoid hand and wrist injuries. Your local sports shop should be able to help you with this but as a guide you should have a finger width of space between your thumb and fingers when gripping the racquet.

A dynamic warm up for 10 minutes before you play should include jogging, heel raises, lunges, trunk rotations and arm circles as a minimum. Make sure you stretch the major muscle groups after playing to avoid post-exercise muscle soreness.

Getting coaching on proper technique will ensure you don’t develop bad habits early on which could increase your risk of injury. It also means you learn all the skills you require to develop your game quickly.

As tennis is a relatively high impact sport make sure you alternate it with low impact exercise such as swimming or yoga to help improve muscle balance and flexibility.

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Top tips for injured runners

Posted on 28th June 2017 by

Having an injury can be a frustrating time for a runner, particularly when you have an event looming. How do you maintain your fitness when you can’t run?

Here’s our top tips to keep your physical and mental health in tip top condition whilst you’re recovering.

  1. Can you still run at all without increasing your pain? For most people maintaining some level of running is going to be better for them than complete rest as it helps prevent deconditioning both of the muscles and of the cardiovascular system. This one will depend on your injury so its always best to seek professional advice from a physiotherapist. Try taking out hills and speed work, go back to short, gentle runs on flatter terrain – its going to be much better to keep up short frequent runs of 1-2 miles rather than nothing at all even if you’re used to doing 10miles+ as this will give you a starting point from which you can progress. The main exception to this is running on a suspected stress fracture – you will not be able to run through this pain and you WILL make it worse by continuing to run. As a guide consider your pain levels during the run, but also over the next 24 hours – if your pain eases quickly when you start running and doesn’t leave lingering pain or stiffness into the evening or next day you are generally fine to keep going at this level.

  2. Cross training such as cycling, swimming and deep water running are great ways to keep up your cardio fitness whilst not running at your usual intensity. Try to match this to your normal training schedule – for example if you would normally do 3 runs a week – perhaps a 1 hour slow run, a 30 minute tempo run and a 20 minute speed/interval session try to replicate both the time and the intensity of these sessions on a bike or in the water.

  3. Work on technique – video analysis can help to find the route cause of why you are injured and specific tailored running drills and strengthening exercises can help prevent this problem reoccurring in the future. This is also going to help improve your efficiency as a runner so when your injury is healed you’re likely to be better than ever! Think about investing in our Running Rehab service – where we will analyse your running and combine this with an in depth physical assessment to identify and target any potential troublesome areas that need some work or adjusting.

  4. Don’t neglect strength and conditioning – use the time off running to work on areas of weakness. For example if you always get achy calves at the end of a run try building strength with single leg heel raises. Or if you are getting knee pain you can often work the hip and core muscles really hard without irritating the knee. A physiotherapist will be able to assess which areas of weakness might have contributed to your injury and guide you through a specific individualised strength training programme that isn’t going to aggravate it.

  5. Beat stress! A lot of us use running as a tool to keep our mental health in check so not being able to run can lead to feeling of guilt, anxiety and depression. It’s important to find another outlet for stress – cycling, swimming, yoga and Pilates can be great alternatives. Remember not to be too hard on yourself, recovery is an important part of the training process. Take this time to restore your general wellbeing – eat healthily, drink plenty of water and make sure you are getting enough sleep – this is going to speed up your recovery.

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Foot Pain: Could It Be Plantar Fasciitis?

Posted on 8th October 2016 by

We are seeing and hearing from an increasing number of people who are suffering with quite debilitating pain on the sole of their foot. This common complaint is often the result of a condition known as Plantar Fasciitis.

Interestingly, over the last week I’ve met 8 people hobbling about with this painful foot condition and not one of these people were aware of what physio could do for plantar fasciitis.

So today’s blog is to educate you about plantar fasciitis and help you banish it for good.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Fascia is connective tissue which is found all over the body in various forms for different functions. It’s most common forms are sheaths surrounding muscles and ligaments to compartmentalise and  protect these tissues or thickened fascial bands or sheets in certain areas of the body.Plantat Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a thickened sheet of fascia on the sole of the feet, running from the inside base of the heel bone and fanning out into the base of the toes. It’s elasticity gives us a spring in our step when walking or running.

Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury to the fascial sheet on the sole of the foot.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

The main cause of plantar fasciitis is caused by

the plantar fascia being put under excessive stretch for prolonged periods of time. This can happen for example when your foot arches are too flat, so that as you push off when you’re walking or running the fascia excessively overloaded and stretched. Over time microtrauma, injury and pain result.

The foot can also be termed the “rubbish bin” of the body, where asymmetries further up the body can result in compensations in the foot. The body will compensate up to a point, but due to the excessive forces during the propulsion as you move that go through your feet, the foot may adapt by stiffening up and thickening of the plantar fascia. So sometimes, it can be something going on further up the body that may put too much stress on your foot, that will in turn cause this problem.

Symptoms

Plantar fasciitis is normally felt as a pain on the bottom of your foot, sometimes going into your heel.

Unfortunately plantar fasciitis is often confused with another foot problem called calcaneal bursitis heel pain). Without a thorough examination, most plantar foot problems are diagnosed as plantar fasciitis.

So a quick test you can do yourself to indicate whether your foot pain is plantar fasciitis or not is to see which is more painful; walking on your tip toes or your heels.

If it is painful to walk a few steps on your heels, you may have an element of calcanea bursitis. If it’s more painful too walk on tip toes (stretching plantar fascia), it’s likely you havre plantar fasciitis.

Why is it so painful 1st thing in the morning or after I’ve been sat for a while and then get up?

Plantar fasciitis is usually painful after a period of rest. The reason being is that when you’re sat for a while or asleep in bed, the fascia is off loaded and re-tightens. When you get back up on your feet, you are re-stretching the tight, painful fascia. It may ease a little as you start to move around as it effectively ‘warms up’ and stretches.

What can affect recovery?

There are many factors that will affect the speed of recovery. Seeing an expert Physiotherapist who has a wide range of experience treating lower limb overuse injuries is vital to identify all the factors and work towards removing or modifying the triggers unique to you.

The most common triggers for foot problems such as plantar fasciitis are:

Biomechanics It’s crucial to assess whether your foot and leg biomechanics (e.g. flattened arches, knocked knees etc.) are contributing to your injury and may need correcting. Here at goPhysio, our Physio’s can do this quite easily as part of your initial session by combining their physical assessment findings with performing a computerised foot screen using our cutting edge Gaitscan system.

Training Patterns and Intensity If a runner or keen walker has the condition, it’s vital to look at the historical loading of the fascia and modify their training schedule to a level that allows the condition to heal. Without breaking the cycle, the tissues won’t be able to recover. However, we like to keep people doing what they love, so rather than advise complete rest, we try wherever possible, to modify your activity or suggest alternatives in the short term that will promote recovery.

Lower Limb Stability Often muscle imbalances further up your body in your knee, hip or pelvis, will have an impact on the foot. As part of your recovery we will always address these elements too to help prevent re-occurrences.

Age Research suggests that older people experience more severe and more prolonged episodes of inflammation and pain. So, if you’re 40 years plus and enjoy an active lifestyle, your pain is unlikely to settle with just rest. It will be easily aggravated when you resume normal activities, as the cause and actual injury hasn’t been addressed.

Footwear Unsupportive, flat, old, worn out shoes or trainers can both contribute to causing plantar fasciitis and will inevitably prolong the condition.

Physiotherapy

At goPhysio, with a condition like plantar fasciitis, we always treat the condition as part of the bigger picture. Not only will we treat your foot itself, but we will look from the foot upwards and from the hip downwards, ensuring we leave you with no issues that will contribute to a re-occurrence.

Having identified all the factors unique to your condition, we will then address and correct them in parallel with hands-on physiotherapy treatments and education. It’s crucial to manually release the tight thickened plantar fascia with a variety of release techniques. You will also be provided with a bespoke home exercise programme for you to self treat at home and speed up your recovery in-between physio sessions.

We can also asses you to find out if you’d benefit from orthotics. In most cases of plantar fasciitis there is a biomechanics component that needs addressing. This can be achieved with orthotics. As outlined above, fattened arches will lower your body’s ability to cope with loading either from day-to-day actives or sport. At goPhysio we use a technologically advanced system called Gaitscan, which uses computer scanning to analyse your moving foot Combined with a physical assessment, the physio can identify if you’d benefit from wearing orthotics and subsequently discuss the range of options available to you to get you back on your feet a quickly.

What next?

If you think you may be suffering with plantar fasciitis or you have foot pain and aren’t sure what exactly it is, just give us a call on 023 8025 3317 or book an initial physiotherapy appointment online.

We can also offer you a free computerised foot analysis to see whether you’d benefit from orthotics. These analyses are completely free with no obligation. Call and quote Free Gaitscan to take advantage of this offer and find out whether orthotics could help you.


Growing Pains? Knee Pain in Kids and Teens

Posted on 27th September 2016 by

Growing pains?

Many children experience aches and pains as they grow which are typically written off as ‘growing pains’, told there is nothing that can be done and that they will ‘grow out of it’.

There is some truth to this; during a growth spurt the bones will lengthen first and then the muscles adapt and lengthen to keep up and there can be a period of discomfort around the joints whilst this happens.

However in young sporty children these ‘growing pains’ may well indicate a traction apophysistis (growth plate injury) that needs to be carefully managed to avoid long-term problems and ensure a quick return to sport.

What is a traction apophysitis?

This happens when the muscles are pulling on the growing part of the bone that hasn’t fully fused yet Osgoods Schlatters – like a rope pulling on cement that hasn’t hardened. If this area is overloaded by repeated, forceful muscle contractions, inflammation, pain and microtrauma to the growth plate will result.

This usually happens in very active sporty children who typically play 10+ hours of sport a week – especially kicking, sprinting and jumping activities like football, basketball and gymnastics. It always occurs during a growth spurt and is thought to affect around 20% of 9-16 year olds.

The main areas affected are the knee (Osgood-Schlatters disease) giving pain below the knee cap, or the ankle (Severs disease) giving pain above the back of the heel. Both conditions are associated with tightness of the muscles surrounding these joints pulling on their respective growth plates.

What can be done about it?

Rest, ice and anti-inflammatories can be helpful but most kids won’t want to wait months and months for their bones to stop growing before they return to sport, particularly if they are a budding athlete.

Will stretching help?

If the muscles are tight why don’t we just stretch them?

Well this actually pulls on the area where the muscle attaches to bone, potentially making it worse, not better!

So in response to this dilemma the Strickland protocol has been developed by a Physiotherapist to address the cause of the pain (tight muscles pulling on the growth plate) and to help guide return to sport and activity.

What is the Strickland Protocol?

The Strickland Protocol involves:

  • Applying a specific type of massage towards the insertion of the muscle to improve a muscle’s length and reduce its tightness, which reduces the pull on the tendon attachment – this needs to be done for a minimum of 2 minutes a day.
  • Once underlying tension is taken out of the muscle, helping it to catch up in length with the bone, the attachment site seems to repair in double quick time.
  • Once the child feels no pain in stretch position, we replace massage with stretches, safe in the knowledge that it should be able to cope with the loading of stretches.
  • Massage is continued in parallel with stretches to speed up process of elongation.
  • Rest from aggravating activities is essential – for a minimum of 3 weeks we recommend nothing more strenuous than walking, otherwise this delays healing substantially!
  • An important aspect is the involvement of the parent / guardian as the protocol cannot be done without their help & cooperation, as it will be them that performs massage on daily basis.
  • This is followed by sport-specific rehab and addressing a biomechanical or technique issues as we guide you back to sport.

Does it work?

YES! It has a 95% success rate in 3 weeks when correctly adhered to!

How can goPhysio help?

If your son or daughter is suffering with knee pain (or pain at their heel), you may have been to see your GP who has advised you that there is nothing that can be done, your child just needs to rest. However, we have found that by using this treatment protocol we can effectively help children get back to what they should be – running round, doing sports and having fun!

What we can do to help you and your child is assess the problem thoroughly to make sure we’re confident with the diagnosis. We will then advise you on the best course of action. The great part is that the treatment is pretty simple, with our guidance you can carry out the programme at home – we’re here to provide extra support and advise on progress as and when you need it.

If you want to find out more about the common injuries that growing young people experience and steps you can take to manage such issues, Physiotherapist, Sarah is running a free talk on Thursday 5th April at 5pm, titled Adolescent Injuries and Growing Pains. This is part of a series of free informative events we are hosting this year. Get your free ticket to the Adolescent Injuries and Growing Pains Seminar here.

 

 


Using Your Tablet Without Pain

Posted on 30th August 2016 by

Tablets are now an integral part of many peoples daily lives. We work, read, shop, socialise and watch TV on them. They’ve got lighter and more portable, so are easy to use single handed and for long stretches of time. But with this great device comes some inherent problems.

Using a tablet can put immense strain on your back, neck, shoulders are arms, which can cause pain and overuse injuries.

  1. Avoid staying in 1 position for long periods of time, instead, adjust positions regularly and move around a bit so that you’re neck, shoulders, arms or hands aren’t having to hold a sustained position. It’s recommended to change position at least every 15 minutes.
  2. Hold your device at eye level which helps keep your neck in a neutral position. Always looking down at your tablet overstretches the back of your neck putting you at risk or neck pain and headaches.
  3. Limit how long you’re using your tablet for. Sounds obvious, but maybe use a timer or an app which helps you time your tablet use. Before you know it you can rack up hours on a tablet which can lead to considerable stress on your body.
  4. Use a stand and key pad to optimise the set up of your device. There are lots of accessories available to use with tablets. These can be used to help you set your device up more like a desktop, where you can use ergonomic principles to help minimise the risk to your body.
  5. Balance tablet use with other activities. If you’ve been on your tablet for a while, have a break and get up and do some stretches, rotating your shoulders and stretching your neck. If you can, go for a brisk walk.

Tablets and mobile devices are likely to continue to grow in popularity, so being mindful about their use and the effects on your body is crucial.


How might orthotics help me?

Posted on 30th August 2016 by

Orthotics are prescribed and worn for a variety of reasons.

The most common reasons are:

  • Arch and heel pain (Plantar Fasciitis)
  • Lower leg tendonitis (Achilles tendonitis and posterior tibial tendon dysfunction)
  • Shin splints
  • Knee pain, such as chondromalacia patellae, iliotibial band syndrome and runner’s knee
  • Leg length discrepancy
  • Low back pain

Orthotics work by improving foot efficiency, lower limb alignment, therefore reducing stress on the problem area resulting in pain relief.

Although some people adapt to orthotics very quickly, you should gradually adjust to them by wearing them for a few hours more each day. You should avoid using them for extended activity, including sports, until you feel fully comfortable.

They should be comfortable and used whenever you are doing the activity that would normally aggravate your condition. If you need orthotics, they can improve your overall comfort in your lower limbs and feet.


Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)

Posted on 19th August 2016 by

Knee pain is one of the most common running injuries we see here at goPhysio. A regular injury is ‘runner’s knee’ or more technically Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS).

What is ‘Runner’s Knee’?

As you bend and straighten your knee, the knee cap (or patella) naturally moves up and down in a Runners knee groove in your thigh bone (or femur) . The knee cap is held in place by various muscles and tendons, helping it to move well. If any part of this isn’t quite working right it can affect the knee cap, particularly if you’re doing a repetitive movement such as running. Such problems around the knee cap can cause damage to cartilage, ligaments or fatty tissues near the knee cap and as a result cause pain and inflammation.

Pain often originates from the contact between the back of the knee cap and the thigh bone.

What does it feel like?

Pain is often felt during a run behind the knee cap or infant of the knee. It can be a dull achey pain or may be quite sharp and severe. Other symptoms include:

  • Pain during other activities, sports or even walking
  • Pain when squatting or going up or down stairs, down especially
  • Stiffness and swelling around the knee cap (‘puffy’ knees)
  • Loss of muscle bulk in your quadriceps (front thigh muscles)

What causes it?

A number of issues can cause runner’s knee. It’s often something that comes on gradually and people endure for some time before seeking help, so often, by the time a runner comes to see us there are a few things going on and compensations have developed. Problems that can contribute to runners knee include:

  • Overworking the patellofemoral joint (joint between knee cap and thigh bone)
  • Stiff hip joints
  • Over pronation at the foot (flattened arches
  • Tight hamstrings, calf and quadriceps muscles
  • Lack of strength in quadriceps  muscles
  • Issues around the glutes and pelvis

What can Physio do to help? 

To settle the pain and discomfort of your knee pain, you can rest and use ice and painkillers. Rest is crucial, as the problems is often a result of  overuse, so reducing activity will help this. However, if you’re like most runners, you aren’t going to be keen on resting for long.

As with any overuse injury (read a previous blog about overuse injuries here), it is crucial to identify the cause of the problem. This is where physio comes in, as we’ll be able to identify exactly where the cause of the problem lies and address it. This may be through a tailored exercise programme to strengthen, stabilise and stretch particular areas around your knee, hips or pelvis. It could be that you’d benefit from orthotics and if so we can assess your need and advise accordingly. Or it may be an issue with your running technique, training programme, running shoes or other activity you’re doing.

In combination with addressing the underlying issue, we provide relief of your symptoms to make you feel more comfortable. This could be through hands on physio techniques to release soft tissues, acupuncture, electrotherapy or taping. We have a huge range of techniques and tools that can help you.

Most importantly, we’ll guide you back to doing what you love to do and that’s run! We make sure you know when to start running again without re-injuring yourself, it’s a difficult balance. We advise on distance, timing, rest, speed and making sure you are progressing your specific exercises to support your recovery.


Running Injuries: The Basic Principles

Posted on 8th July 2016 by

There are 2 main types of running injuries that we commonly see at goPhysio:

  1. Traumatic injuries
  2. Overuse injuries

Traumatic injuries are caused by an accident or ‘traumatic event’ for example tripping over when you’re running or having a fall.

These type of injuries usually happen unexpectedly and are therefore difficult to prevent, however there are a few things you can do to help reduce the risk of these types of injuries.

  • Invest in good quality running shoes that are suitable for the type of running (trail, road etc.).
  • Wear the correct shoes and clothing for the weather conditions.
  • Warm up well to help prevent injuries that may be caused by sudden movements.
  • Listen to your body – if you’re not feeling 100%, are overly tired or recovering from an injury, you’ll be more at risk of having an accident.

If you suffer a mild to moderate traumatic injury, the best course of action is to follow the P.O.L.I.C.E. acute injury management programme. This will give you the best chance of a speedy recovery and return to running.

It’s important to remember that even if you need to rest from running, try and stay as active as you can and find alternative forms of exercise like swimming or cycling, where you can maintain your fitness, strength and flexibility but still allow your injury to recover.

It’s also very important to do specific exercises to work your injured are to recover strength and flexibility. This is particularly important to help prevent any re-injury once you’re back to running.

Overuse injuries are caused by repetitive movements that build up over time, that eventually your body can’t cope with. Given the repetitive and high impact nature of running, overuse injuries in runners are extremely common.

There are 2 main causes of overuse injuries:

Extrinsic Causes

These relate to external factors such as:

  • Footwear – wearing the wrong type of shoe for you or a shoe that’s worn out.
  • Running surfaces – repeated running on overly hard surfaces or on a certain camber.
  • Your training programme – normally overtraining, so increasing speed or distances too quickly and not allowing adequate recovery time.

Intrinsic Causes

These are related to your physical build and design. These include:

  • Muscle imbalances
  • Lack of flexibility or even over flexibility
  • Running technique
  • Biomechanics
  • Your own skeletal design

It can often be a cumulative combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors that lead to an injury. You can read more about overuse injuries on another one of our blogs.

 


Tennis Elbow

Posted on 4th July 2016 by

Tennis elbow is one of the most well known tennis injuries, yet it’s name is deceiving. This common elbow problem probably affects as many non-tennis players as it does tennis players.

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is caused by a strain to tendons in the forearm. The tendons become inflamed where they Tennis elbow treatmentjoin the bony part on the outside of your elbow joint. Any activity that involves gripping and twisting of the forearm can cause this type of strain – most cases aren’t actually related to tennis or any kind of exercise. Golfer’s elbow is a similar condition that affects the inside of the elbow joint near the funny bone.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms vary – you may have mild discomfort when you move your arm, or the pain may be bad enough to disturb your sleep. The outside of your elbow will feel tender to the touch and there may be swelling. You may also have pain further down your forearm. Repetitive movements of the wrist will make the pain worse, especially if combined with a weight, for example if you’re lifting boxes.

What can be done to help?

Simple self-help treatments can often be enough to clear up a mild case of tennis elbow. Most cases will ease within about 2 weeks. The first thing you can do to help is to identify and adapt any movements that may be causing your symptoms. So, if you feel your pain when you do something, try and find a different way of doing it. For example, lift objects with your palms facing upwards and elbows bent.

Medication

Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen may help. It’s important that you take them regularly and at the recommended dose to help you control the pain and allow you to continue exercising. Don’t wait until your pain is severe before taking painkillers. You can also rub anti-in ammatory cream directly onto the painful area.

You shouldn’t take ibuprofen or aspirin if you’re pregnant or have asthma, indigestion or an ulcer until you’ve spoken to your doctor or pharmacist. Medication can have side-effects so you should read the label carefully and check with your pharmacist if you have any queries. Always seek medical advice if needed before taking medication.

Physiotherapy

If your elbow pain is affecting your activity and is persisting, you would benefit from seeing a Tennis elbow clasp physiotherapist. Here at goPhysio, we can help you to manage pain and improve your strength and flexibility. Importantly, we will help you identify what exactly has caused the problem and find ways to modify what you do to prevent it happening again. Tennis elbow is an overuse injury, so if you don’t address the root of the problem, it can become a long term issue.

We can use a variety of treatments – including acupuncture, ultrasound, hands on techniques and tailored exercises. We will help you understand your problem and get you back doing what you love to do. We may recommend an epicondylitis clasp, which can help reduce the strain on your elbow if you need to make repetitive hand and elbow movements, for example while you’re working. This can ease the discomfort in your forearm.

Steroid injections

If your pain persists and doesn’t respond to treatment, your physio  may suggest a steroid injection into the tender area. One injection is probably all you’ll need, though you may still need to rest your elbow for 2–3 weeks afterwards. There’s a slight possibility that the pain will become worse for a few hours after the injection, occasionally lasting for up to 48 hours. Your physio can help with referring you on for a steroid injection if they think you would benefit from this and also discuss the pros and cons with you.

Here are some simple exercises that can help if you’re suffering with tennis elbow.

Tennis elbow physiotherapy