Lateral epicondyle tendinopathy, better known as "Tennis Elbow", is a condition that affects 1-3% of the general population and can be an absolute nuisance �♂️ that doesn't just interfere with your backhand, but also shaking hands, grabbing dishes, typing, and writing. The pain typically is on the outside of the elbow and originates in what is known as the common extensor origin, where multiple muscles in your forearm attach to your elbow. In most cases of tennis elbow, the affected fibers are the anterior fibers of the extensor carpi radialis brevis, which is responsible for extending your wrist and your middle finger. If flicking someone off �with your middle finger hurts the outside of your elbow, changes are it's tennis elbow! . In tennis elbow, the tendon itself undergoes cellular and matrix change accompanied by alterations in pain, sensory, and motor functioning. These changes occur because the tendon is �and unable to handle the forces placed on the tendon in your day to day activities - tennis, manual work, gripping, etc. In order to manage tennis elbow yourself, here are 3 things you can do! .
1️⃣Strengthening of the tendon. If the elbow is extremely sensitive and painful, try isometric exercises first. Isometrics produce what is called an analgesic effect � that can reduce the pain you feel by altering the nociceptive/pain pathways to your brain. Progress into eccentric and then concentric exercises once pain levels are slightly decreased. While the literature is not clear on if it is okay to have discomfort during these exercises, I usually say pain less than 3/10 is okay as long as it does not increase pain the following morning. You want to strengthen the wrist extensors and supinator muscle. 3 sets of 20.
2️⃣GENTLE stretching. Notice we stretch the tendon by moving into wrist flexion, both with the elbow straight and flexed. This is because there are two muscles in the elbow (ECRB and ECRL) that attach above+below the elbow. The last stretch is a doozy and not only hits the wrist extensors, but also the supinator muscle. Think of "tunring your bicep out". For stretches, I DON’T want it to be painful. Stop before the point of pain. 4 sets of 30sec.
3️⃣ ‼️REST‼️ Tennis elbow is an overuse activity, so STOP doing things that hurt it! Stop playing tennis temporarily, try picking up objects with your other hand, put your most used objects at your work desk on the other side, simply resist the urge to grip with that hand. . Furthermore, to [P]Rehab and prevent re-occurance, strengthen �� the scapulothoracic muscles proximally, as weakness of these muscles means more stress placed on the elbow during functional tasks.