With the action at Wimbledon starting today, we thought it was the perfect time to take a closer look at Lateral Epicondylitis. Although it’s commonly known as tennis elbow, it’s an injury that can affect players and non-players alike.
Tennis elbow is an overuse injury that affects tennis players and non-tennis players alike! Generally suffers are over 40 years of age and men and women are equally affected. If you don’t play tennis onset can usually be related to some sort of physical activity even if it is just using a mouse or keyboard.
Symptoms and causes
The pain is felt over the outside of the elbow and can spread down the forearm towards the wrist. Inflammation or small tears within the tendon that attach the outer forearm muscles to the elbow are responsible for the pain.
These muscles extend the wrist, something we do naturally when gripping anything tightly for example when opening a jam jar, using a screwdriver or holding a tennis racquet. When using a keyboard or mouse these muscles are used at a lower intensity but over a longer period of time.
If you play tennis there are certain factors that can contribute to tennis elbow such as string tension, grip size and racquet head size. Poor technique can also be a factor as can reduced strength or flexibility. Some players switch to a double handed backhand.
What can physiotherapy do to help?
Physiotherapy treatment for tennis elbow would follow a thorough assessment and examination to confirm the diagnosis and understand what factors may be contributing to the condition.
Treatment may include:
- Friction massage
- Ultrasound to the tendon
- Stretching exercises
- Specific strengthening exercises
- Activity modification
- Ergonomic advice
You’ve got to love our increasingly sedentary 9 to 5 lifestyle – even with regular exercises, increased periods of immobility can cause lower back pain at the end of the day. So if you’re suffering from back pain, here are a couple of simple exercises to help alleviate those nagging symptoms.
- Knee rolls
Lie on your back with a small pillow or towel under you head. Keep your chin tucked in and head and shoulders relaxed. Keeping your knees bent and together and your arms outstretched to the side, gently roll your knees to one side, followed by your hips. Remember not to rock your shoulder as you roll, keep these on the floor. Hold the stretch for one deep breath and return your legs to the starting position. Repeat 6 to 8 times, alternating sides.
- Cat stretch
Get on the floor on your hands and knees, and gently arch your back towards the ceiling (like a cat arching its back). Keep your head relaxing looking at the floor; don’t bring it up to look outwards when you arch. Continue the arch until you feel a gentle stretch in your back. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Return to the start position and repeat 8-10 times.
They say modern living makes our lives easier, but what toll is this having on our bodies? We spend more time sat at our desks than ever before, often for extended periods without a break. No wonder neck and back pain is on the rise. Here are some exercises you can do at your desk but still remember to get up and move around as often as possible.
- Sitting straight-backed, pull your chin in towards the back of your head (you will have a double chin but your neck will thank you later) keeping your neck and back straight (not tipping your head forwards). Hold and feel the stretch in your neck. Repeat as often as possible.
- Whilst seated, turn your head to one side until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10 seconds, repeat the other side. Repeat 6 times, 3 times a day.
- Sitting with your hands clasped behind your head, bend your head forward until you feel a stretch behind your neck. Gently pull your head further forward. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 6 times, 3 times a day.
- Sitting on a chair, hold onto the chair with one hand and lean your head and trunk away from the fixed arm. Repeat with the other side. Repeat 6 times, 3 times a day.
We can now give you a sneak peak of the Shaun the Sheep that’ll be flocking to Coldharbour Road this summer thanks to the Coldharbour Road Traders Association (CORTA). The creator of this tantalising design, is local Baa-ristol artist Emily Ketteringham.
We will keep you updated as to Shaun’s arrival but we hope to see many of you throughout the summer as you hunt for ‘Shaun in the City‘.
Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Foundation. Charity no. 1043603
Shaun the Sheep & Shaun in the City © & ™ Aardman Animations Ltd 2015