Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) and Therapeutic Ultrasound
Tennis elbow is a condition that causes pain around the outside of the elbow. The elbow joint is surrounded by muscles that move your elbow, wrist and fingers. Tennis elbow is usually caused by overusing the muscles attached to your elbow and used to straighten your wrist. When you strain these muscles and tendons, tiny tears and inflammation can develop near the bony lump on the outside of your elbow.
Tennis elbow is mostly due to overuse. Some of the most common activities that cause this condition are as follows:
- Playing racquet sports (tennis, badminton, squash)
- Throwing sports (javelin/discus)
- Using shears while gardening
- Using a paintbrush or roller while decorating
- Manual work
- Fine, repetitive hand and wrist movements (using scissors/typing)
Tennis elbow can last for several weeks or months because tendons tend to heal slowly. The most important thing you can do is rest your injured arm and stop doing the activity that caused the problem. Holding a cold compress against your elbow for a few minutes, several times a day can help ease the pain. Using an elbow strap to protect the injured tendon from further strain. Steroid injections are also an option and are used to temporarily ease some of the swelling and pain around the joint.
With tennis elbow, therapeutic ultrasound can increase the efficiency of the normal healing process and enhance the quality of repair. It does this by encouraging blood to circulate to the damaged tendon, which fosters the healing process. It’s used to reduce pain associated with tennis elbow and restore normal functions as soon as possible. Therapeutic ultrasound heats up the tendon and this increase of heat and blood promotes the breakdown of scar tissue.