Life Fit Blog

Tennis Elbow- How to Get Rid of the Pain

Posted 1 year ago

By Shane Ryan, Chartered Physiotherapist. 

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is the term given to pain on the outside of your elbow. It is due to injury or inflammation of the tendons that attach onto the bony bit on the outside of your elbow. Pain on the inside of your elbow is known as golfers’ elbow.

Tennis Elbow Symptoms

Some of the most common things we hear from people with tennis elbow are: pain on the outside of the elbow, pain into the forearm, pain when gripping objects, pain when using a kettle or screwdriver, pain when typing.

Tennis Elbow Causes

Tennis elbow is most commonly caused by overuse. The tendons that cause pain are part of the muscle that go into your hand and wrist. So, activities that involve of lot of gripping, lifting, typing can cause pain on the outside of you elbow. It can also occur through other means such as falls or knocks to your elbow, or through having other underlying conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or spondylarthritis.

Tennis Elbow Treatment

There are multiple different treatment options for tennis elbow. Below, we will go through what is involved in each of them.

  1. Wait and see

Simply put, ride it out. Adjust your activities slightly to cause less pain but otherwise continue as normal. After a year most people will be pain free.

  1. Physiotherapy management

Physiotherapy includes a mixture of hands on (mobilisations with movements) and rehab exercises. At 6 weeks your chance of recovery is more than double that of those that wait and see. Meaning you get out of pain significantly quicker compared to wait and see

  1. Corticosteroid injection

Cortisone injections work by reducing the inflammation in the injected area. Studies have shown a significant decrease in pain within the first 6weeks following a corticosteroid injection, with 70-80% reporting their pain had gone away or improved significantly. However, there is a higher chance of the pain returning within a year with 72% of people having their pain return compared to 8% of those that carry out physiotherapy only. But there are other injection options available that do not have the same recurrence rates. These are talked about below.

  1. Hyaluronic acid injections (OSTENIL® TENDON)

The brand of hyaluronic acid injection we use is OSTENIL® TENDON. These injections provide relief from tennis elbow by providing hyaluronic acid at the site of irritation to facilitate lubrication.  It also helps to block pain receptors and facilitates local tendon nutrients, while also reducing inflammation. There are significantly less side effects of hyaluronic acid injections compared to steroid injections.

  1. PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections

Platelet rich plasma injections works by using the body’s own natural healing processes. The procedure involves taking a small sample of your own blood in a special syringe which is then spun at high speed in a centrifuge which separates the blood plasma from red blood cells. The plasma layer is rich in platelets which release growth factors that promote repair within affected tissues. The plasma is then drawn into a separate syringe using a clever system which then allows it to be injected into the tendons causing tennis elbow.

  1. Shockwave therapy

Shockwave therapy is delivered using a machine that delivers high-energy sound waves to the tendons of the elbow. These sound waves cause an increase in blood flow, which stimulates the body’s healing response. This is delivered alongside physiotherapy and helps to speed up recovery further.

If you would like any additional information, then please contact the clinic or visit our relevant Tennis Elbow condition and injury advice section on our website.