What is the condition?
Simply put, tennis elbow is an inflammation of a tendon at the elbow. This tendon is associated with the muscle that extends your wrist and fingers.
How do you get it?
Because these muscles are put under load during a tennis backhand, this is how the injury occurs. That is how the injury got its name originally. However, playing tennis is not prerequisite to getting tennis elbow. Any repetitive extension motion can cause the tendon to be inflamed and cause tennis elbow.
What problems does it cause?
The symptoms of tennis elbow develop gradually. In most cases, the pain begins as mild and slowly worsens over weeks and months.
Common signs and symptoms of tennis elbow include:
- Pain or burning on the outer part of your elbow
- Weak grip strength
The symptoms are often worsened with forearm activity, such as holding a controller, lifting a cup, or performing an extension with your wrist or fingers. Your dominant arm is most often affected; however, both arms can be affected.
How does it work?
The treatment is aimed at increasing blood flow to the injured area. Because tendons inherently do not possess a lot of blood supply, healing does not happen readily. Increasing blood flow to the injured area helps to reduce the inflammation and allow for healing to happen.
What is the process of getting this treatment like?
If you are a suitable candidate, your therapist will recommend shockwave therapy for your treatment. During shockwave therapy, you will feel a strong rapid tapping sensation in the area that is being treated. If the area treated is particularly bony, then it may be a little painful. Most patients tolerate it very well.
Any post-procedure pain or downtime? What is the aftercare like?
There are no downtimes. You can resume your routine activities immediately. Though rare, there may be some bruising and discomfort after the treatment. You can ice the area if this is the case.
What results to expect?
While some patients report improvements immediately after 1 session, up to 6 weekly sessions are required for the full benefits and healing effects of the treatment.