You have had a big week on the tools or have increased the amount of tennis you are playing or may have a new racquet. Then it seems like everything you pick up, not just racquets and tools, hurts. Even simple things like a cup of tea can be painful if your elbow is bad. This can really make work a misery, or the prospect of playing tennis, foreboding. The pain on the outside of the elbow is due to inflammation of the tendon, the common extensor origin, where the forearm extensor muscles attach. It is commonly known as “tennis elbow” but its medical term is lateral epicondylalgia or epicondylitis. Tennis elbow is an is an overuse injury, and requires initial rest, particularly if aching at night, icing, strengthening and stretching exercises, and massage. Apart from the above solutions, there is a newer healing technology that is making a profound difference to Tennis Elbow sufferers - Shockwave Therapy.
Shockwave is often useful in treating tennis elbow, because the common extensor origin is a connective tissue, not a muscle. It puts a significant shockwave through the tissues you apply it to. It is a pressure wave which brings blood flow to the area. Tendons and connective tissue do not have much blood supply and can take a long time to heal. Shockwave artificially stimulates the healing of the tendon. Shockwave therapy can also be used on Achilles tendonitis, Plantar Fasciitis, golfer’s elbow, and rotator cuff tendon problems, and is usually most effective on long term chronic problems, rather than acute injuries. Shockwave is not the first line of treatment for injured patients.
Physiotherapy and graded exercise are more likely in the first instance, but for more stubborn conditions, shockwave has shown good results. The evidence at the moment suggests between three to five treatments are required, but most people should see an improvement within three sessions. It has a success rate up to 90%. The Shockwave therapy is administered for a three-minute period to the affected area during consecutive weekly appointments. It is quite an uncomfortable sensation like most physio hands-on treatments and with a little discomfort during the treatment. After each session, most people get a significant reduction of pain and symptoms. Long term Shockwave stimulates healing, short term it reduces pain. Probably the best thing is, the effects are long lasting. It stops a lot of people having more invasive procedures like surgery or injections. The treatment is considered safe, but can produce skin reddening or bruising, short term pain, and cannot be used on people taking blood thinning medications or with bleeding disorders. It is important to know that Shockwave has a long-term effect. Most of the time you have good outcomes without having to have further treatments.
Shockwave is available on the Mornington Peninsula at Back In Motion Balnarring. Call, speak to one of our physios and book a Free Initial Assessment to discuss if Shockwave Therapy suits your condition.