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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 in full swing, 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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Sport Focus: Golfing Injuries

Posted on 8th February 2017 by

Golf is a power sport. Its ultimate aim is to ensure the club head reaches peak velocity at the point of impact with the ball, in an angle and direction that optimises accuracy, in a repeatable and consistent way. Golfers agree this is much easier to say than do.

It is in attempting to reach this gold standard, that many golfers make compensations, due to their own innate or acquired physiological weaknesses. Although the body’s ability to adapt and compensate is excellent up to a point, without detecting and correcting these weaknesses, performance will suffer and pain and injury often occur.

Damage can range from simple muscle and tendon overuse, to traumatic twists and sprains. Some of the more common golfing injuries we successfully treat at goPhysio include the following:

  • Golfer’s and Tennis elbow: An overuse tendon injury affecting the forearm musculature, this is usually a direct result of the excessive forces generated in the extensor or flexor tendons, due to club and grip, swing changes or issues, inadequate warm-up, poor practice habits and the repetitive nature of the golf swing
  • Muscle Tears: Commonly occur within the powerful rotational muscles of the trunk and lower limbs. This injury frequently transpires as a player becomes fatigued towards the end of a round
  • Ligament Sprains: Affect mainly the back, hips, knees and ankles due to the twisting and rotational forces generated when swinging
  • Shoulder Injuries: Commonly affect the rotator cuff musculature, as it works hard to control the arm position throughout the golf swing
  • Back and Injuries: Without correct spinal posture at address and throughout the golf swing, powerful, negative rotational forces are generated within the spine, often leading to long term facet joint and disc injuries with myofascial trigger points and protective muscle spasm

Our approach ensures that we will treat your injury successfully. As well as “hands-on” treatments, we will detect and correct any physiological weaknesses and compensations which may be affecting your golf swing and performance.

We give you the treatment, exercise, education and advice to improve your swing mechanics, accuracy and performance, achieve long-term physical durability and prevent injury relapse.

If you’re suffering with a golf related injury and want to get back to enjoying your golf without pain, give us a call on 023 8025 3317. You can also book an appointment online to see one of our team at our clinic in Chandlers Ford.

 


Joint Focus: The Shoulder & Arm

Posted on 8th February 2017 by

Shoulder injuriesThe shoulder joins the arm to the trunk and is the most mobile, yet unstable joint in the body. It relies on a complex, synchronised pattern of muscle and joint interaction to maintain stability and function of the whole arm.

This excessive mobility is its main weakness, causing it to become easily injured through trauma, overuse or the cumulative effects of poor posture.

Common shoulder and arm injuries

Injuries we often see at goPhysio to the shoulder & arm include:

If you’re suffering with shoulder or arm pain and it’s stopping you doing what you love or being as active as you need to be, our team can help you. We offer a range of services from our clinic in Chandlers Ford, which can help identify & resolve your shoulder or arm problems and also address the prevention of such injuries.

If you want any advice, please do give us a call on 023 8025 3317 or you can book an appointment online.


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


Tennis Injuries

Posted on 2nd July 2016 by

We’re half way through the famous annual Wimbledon Tennis event. It’s such a popular event and Tennis injuries Chandlers Fordcertainly creates a buzz around the sport.

Tennis places huge physical demands on the professionals, which is understandable given the rigorous training and competition they take part in. Yet, for the novice tennis players out there, injuries can be just as problematic.

Common tennis injuries include:

  • Tennis elbow
  • Shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff tears or impingement
  • Low back pain
  • Wrist sprains
  • Calf muscle injuries
  • Ankle sprains
  • Knee injuries such as ligament sprain or tendon issues
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Mild to moderate soft tissue injuries can often be well managed at home using P.O.L.I.C.E. principles. However, many tennis injuries result from ‘overuse’ – so an injury that is from a sustained, repeated action, like a tennis grip or swing. If this is the case, you may need help identifying exactly where the problem is stemming from and what changes that are needed. Physiotherapy is an effective way of resolving all of the above common injuries.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy have written a summary of the common tennis injuries and how physiotherapy can help.

If injury’s stopping you from enjoying a game of tennis, then get is touch with us at goPhysio. We’ll provide an accurate diagnosis of your injury and a treatment programme that works to get you back in the game.