Wherever you are
in the South Hams

Anyone for Tennis Elbow?



As the Grand Slams arrive in Europe and the bean counters at Pimms rub their hands together in anticipation of their favourite fiscal season, it seemed a neat time for me to research the ever irksome Tennis Elbow.

So, what is it?

Tennis Elbow is a form of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), so named because Tennis players can be prone to this but it is a condition that can impact all manner of activities which put repeated stress on the wrist, forearm and elbow joint such as decorating, vacuuming or playing the violin.

Known as lateral epicondylitis, the pain results from what is described as an inflammation of the tendon that attaches your forearm muscles to a bony projection on the outside of your elbow called the epicondyle. Your elbow is surrounded by a collection of muscles and tissue that control your fingers and stabilise your wrists, however it’s worth noting that not all cases of suspected Tennis Elbow are what they seem…

Muscles 101

Attached to bone via a tendon, our muscles are naturally calibrated to an exact ‘resting’ tension which keeps you in your normal upright position. Our muscles contract and relax to create movement and can sometimes get caught up in comtraction creating a “knot”.

Muscle knots are essentially tight bands of muscle fibre stuck in contraction. This means that when the surrounding fibres have returned to their ‘relaxed’ state, the knotted fibre is still pulling on its attachment point, the tendon, which can create a pain similar to tennis elbow.

How can Sports Massage help?

Sports Massage is a focused deep tissue therapy and can be used to manipulate the muscles around the elbow joint and help to clear any tensions, knots or adhesions within the forearm, releasing the strain on the tendon and restoring your range of movement.

As mentioned earlier, this type of pain – whether muscular or tendon based – is a form of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) so rest and gentle exercise (flexing and extending the wrist) after Sports Massage treatment is important to aid in recovery.

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