The Coeur Physio Blog

Tennis Elbow – A Real Pain In The Neck

28/04/2019 Posted in Peripheral Pain

Lateral epicondylalgia, better known as tennis elbow, is an overuse injury to the outside tendons of the elbow. Tennis elbow typically occurs in adults between the ages of 35 and 54 years.1 The onset of symptoms is usually gradual, but can also be related to a specific injury. Individuals with tennis elbow report pain and tenderness around the outside of the elbow, which often radiates down the forearm.  They may also report weakness in grip and arm strength.

Treatment for tennis elbow often includes:

  • Anti-inflammatory and/or pain medication
  • Rest and avoidance from aggravating activities
  • Orthotics
  • Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Exercises for the elbow
  • Cortisone Injections1

For many individuals with tennis elbow, the treatment outlined above can successfully bring about symptom resolution. However, in certain cases, symptoms continue to linger.  Failure of these management approaches may be due to the fact that some individuals have neck impairments that are contributing to their elbow symptoms.

Lower neck impairments may cause referral of pain into the lateral elbow region.2 Studies investigating the treatment of the neck in individuals with tennis elbow have found more effective symptom management and shorter treatment duration times as well.3 Failure to identify neck impairments as the source of tennis elbow can delay the dual treatment required for timely and maximal recovery.

Is your tennis elbow being a real pain in the neck?  Book an appointment today and let us get to the source of your symptoms so that we can get you back to doing the things you enjoy.

Sources:

  1. DynaMed Plus. Lateral Elbow Tendinopathy. 2017. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116846/Lateral-elbow-tendinopathy. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  2. Rheumataology Network.  Evaluating concomitant lateral epicondylitis and cervical radiculopathy. 2010. Available at: https://www.rheumatologynetwork.com/pain/evaluating-concomitant-lateral-epicondylitis-and-cervical-radiculopathy. Retrieved February 14, 2019. 
  3. Vicenzino, B., Cleland, J.A., Bisset, L.  Joint Manipulation in the Management of Lateral Epicondylalgia. The Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy. 2007. 15(1), 50-56.