Tennis elbow is a health condition that can cause chronic pain in the elbow. Also known as lateral epicondylitis, this condition does not just affect tennis players. Despite the name, tennis elbow can affect anyone who engages in repetitive and strenuous arm movements. This means athletes and people with physically taxing jobs are commonly affected. Tennis elbow can cause pain, discomfort and weakness. The pain tends to feel localized around the elbow, specifically the bony bump called the lateral epicondyle. You might also have difficulty gripping objects in your hand and flexing your arm at the elbow. This can make it difficult to keep up with your daily physical activities. When you are experiencing the symptoms of tennis elbow, you probably want the most effective treatment options available. Physical therapy can offer many effective techniques for treating tennis elbow. Learning about different treatments can empower you to find what works best for you.
Physical therapy treatment options for tennis elbow
- Sport taping — Tennis elbow occurs when tendons around your elbow swell or tear. To allow your elbow to recover, rest is essential. It is important to keep your elbow free of excess stress. Of the techniques used for elbow injury recovery, sport taping is among the most effective. Sometimes called athletic taping, sport taping is a material designed to support your joint after an injury. The material is designed to compress around the affected area. This helps to keep your joints stable and can decrease any swelling. If you need to continue doing physical activities with tennis elbow, sport taping can make it safer and more comfortable.
- Targeted exercises — Physical therapy exercises can be crucial for tennis elbow recovery. When you go to a PT clinic, you can learn exercises that help you build strength and flexibility around the elbow. These might include forearm stretches, which can also improve range of motion in the wrist. Improving flexibility throughout your arm can help prevent additional injuries while you recover.
- Manual therapy — Manual therapy refers to therapeutic methods where a physical therapist uses their hands. Whether it’s applying light pressure to a joint or helping mobilize a joint, manual therapy has many applications. Joint mobilization can be especially effective when it comes to treating tennis elbow. By assisting your elbow joint in moving, manual therapy can improve your range of motion. A physical therapist can also release muscle knots that might be contributing to your elbow pain. These manual therapy techniques can be great for relieving your pain and promoting healing.
What to expect during physical therapy for tennis elbow
- Initial assessment — The recovery journey typically begins with an initial PT assessment. During this evaluation, you will get to know your physical therapist. They may review your medical history and talk to you about activities that could have contributed to your tennis elbow. This enables your physical therapist to treat you with full knowledge of your condition. Your therapist may also conduct some basic physical tests during this appointment. These tests can help to assess your strength and range of motion. By establishing a baseline, you can begin to chart your progress over time. It is important to mention any specific painful or tender areas during this first meeting. With this information, your physical therapist can use treatments designed to offer targeted relief.
- Personalized treatment — Personal health is complex. Everyone has a unique physical makeup that can reduce the effectiveness of one-size-fits-all strategies. This can make a personalized approach key to success. Individual sessions allow your physical therapist to give you undivided attention during treatment. A good physical therapist will also develop a personalized treatment plan designed to address your specific needs. This plan should take many factors into account including your timeline goals and the severity of your condition.
- Session frequency — Physical therapy can yield rapid results. For tennis elbow, this means you can often find pain relief and return to daily activities without too much disruption. To get the most out of physical therapy, attending frequent sessions is important. Patients typically attend PT one to three times per week. Each session might last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes.
REPAIR SI can provide physical therapy treatments for your tennis elbow
Physical therapy can be a great choice for tennis elbow treatment. At REPAIR SI, you can participate in a top-notch recovery experience. Our one-of-a-kind clinic offers a range of cutting-edge treatments designed to help you feel better and perform better.