The UK’s Leading Orthopaedic Shockwave Clinic
Tennis Elbow Shockwave Treatment
Lateral Epicondylitis (LE), or tennis elbow as it is more commonly known, was first described as an affliction suffered by tennis players, mainly those hitting repetitive backhands, by Mr. Henry Morris, MA, FRCS, in 1882
An article by him was published in the Lancet describing “the lawn tennis arm,” in which frequent use of the backstroke leads to a sprain of the “pronator radii teres” muscle. He saw three such cases and “one gentleman said he had known of several lawn tennis players affected in the same way.”
However, while it is commonly associated with playing tennis and other racquet sports, the injury can happen to almost anyone and often occurs after strenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm.
Signs & Symptoms
Tennis elbow usually affects the arm of the dominant hand as this is the arm used the most. The main symptom is pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow and sometimes in the muscles on top of the forearm. This pain may get worse when the wrist is moved such as when griping or twisting something, such as a door handle or when shaking hands. Other symptoms include:
- Point tenderness over the lateral epicondyle – a prominent part of the bone on the outside of the elbow
- Activities that use the muscles that extend the wrist such as pouring a drink and lifting with the palm down
- Morning stiffness
Pain can also occur on the inner side of the elbow, which is known as golfer’s elbow.
Tennis elbow is one of the most common arm injuries, which usually affects patients aged between 30 and 60 years, being more common and having a longer evolution period in women.
Shock Wave Therapy & Tennis Elbow
A study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine showed that there was a significantly higher improvement in pain during resisted wrist extension from patients receiving shock wave therapy.
Another study in the Current Health Sciences Journal concluded that:
- Shockwave Therapy is a relatively new and non-invasive, effective, convenient and safe therapeutic procedure.
- The rate of complications is low and negligible.
- The therapeutic effect is cumulative and requires, in most cases, three to five sessions.
- Frequently, patients experience pain relief after the first treatment session.
- The use of Shockwave Therapy for lateral epicondylitis provided superior results compared to the classical physical therapies and allows for the reduction of pain and temporary inability to work in these patients.
How We Apply Tennis Elbow Shockwave Treatment
Shockwave therapy for LE is a regular treatment at our clinic. Initially, we will discuss your history of the pain with you to establish and understand the clinical history behind the problem.
We then examine the area of the arm to ascertain the tender point where the pain is most felt and apply castor oil (read our news item about castor oil) which aids the transmission of the focussed shock waves into the tender point. We then start transmitting shockwave impulses onto that point.
Discomfort is kept to a minimum and you should feel little pain. Gradually, we will increase the impulses and a little pain may be felt and this may last for a day or two.
We usually advocate three to four treatments at weekly intervals and after the last of these you should feel a definite improvement and a reduction in the original pain.
We will also recommend an accompanying physiotherapy treatment and an exercise regime including strength exercises and a beneficial eccentric loading programme to aid your recovery.
To find out more about how we can help you, or to book a free consultation or an appointment, contact us now, or better still call us right away to discuss your problem Tel: 020 8549 6666