Tennis Elbow Treatment

Do you suffer from lateral epicondylitis – also known as tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is a painful health condition caused by excessive use of the wrist, arm, forearm, and hand muscles that results in inflammation of the tendons. A person does not need to play tennis to experience this condition, but the term is used because it commonly affects tennis players.

Other individuals whose jobs require the kinds of motions that can trigger tennis elbow include painters, plumbers, butchers and carpenters.

There are various treatment options however tennis elbow / lateral epicondylitis can be successfully treated using low level laser therapy which stimulates the body’s natural healing process, helps to restore function, and can offer significant reduction of pain.

Get Relief from Tennis Elbow with Cold Laser Therapy

Low level laser therapy – also known as LLLT or cold laser – is a medical grade, therapeutic laser used as an effective treatment to relieve pain.  Low level laser light penetrates through the skin, without harming or heating the area.

The powerful anti-inflammatory effect of LLLT helps heal inflamed and aggravated tendons. It works by enhancing circulation and encouraging the injured cells and tissues to repair, helping to restore normal function. As the underlying problem is treated, restoration of function and longer lasting pain relief is possible.

Not only can low level laser reduce inflammation, it tends to work well in combination with exercise, physiotherapy and other treatment modalities.

A ground-breaking therapy for accelerating healing and relieving the pain associated with lateral epicondylitis, cold laser has the ability to offer both short term and long term pain relief.

Some pain reduction can usually be felt immediately after treatment and the best results are achieved with cumulative treatments.

– Dr David Bartlett, Practice Principal – Robina Town Medical Centre

Benefits of low level laser therapy as a treatment for tennis elbow:

  • Non-invasive
  • Clinically proven results
  • Safe to use immediately after an injury
  • Reduces the need for medication
  • Helps to restore the normal range of motion
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Treatment is painless
  • Relieves and potentially eliminates pain
Low level laser therapy safely improves the range of motion of the elbow
LLLT relieves pain and speeds up healing, helping the body to treat the source of pain

What causes Tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow can be caused by abrupt or subtle injury to the muscle and tendon area around the outside of the elbow. It can occur after knocking or banging the elbow. The condition particularly involves the area of the arm where the muscles and tendons of the forearm connect to the outside bony area of the elbow known as lateral epicondyle.

Tennis elbow can be caused by following activities:

  • Playing any type of racquet sports for example tennis, squash, badminton etc.
  • Throwing javelin or discus.
  • Using shears while gardening.
  • Using a paintbrush or roller.
  • Plumbing or bricklaying.
  • When repetitive hand and wrist movements are performed for example, typing or using scissors.
  • Repeatedly bending the elbow such as, when playing violin.

Symptoms of Tennis elbow

Symptoms include, but are not limited to emanating pain from the outside of the elbow to the wrist and forearm, pain when wrist is extended, weakness of the forearm etc. Other symptoms may include:

  • Pain slowly increases around the outside area of the elbow. Sometimes, pain may develop suddenly.
  • Pain gets severe when squeezing objects or shaking hands.
  • Pain gets worse when using tools, lifting objects, opening jars, or even using a toothbrush or knife and fork.
  • Forearm is sore.
  • Elbow feels stiff in the morning with constant pain.

How is Tennis elbow treated?

Tennis elbow normally gets better on its own. Main treatments involve rest, home care with ice, and anti-inflammatory medication. However, if over-the-counter painkillers and other self-care measures do not help, a traditional treatment is physical therapy. Some severe forms of tennis elbow may require surgery.

Types of treatments:

  • An elbow strap or splint may be used to ease the pressure off the inflamed tendons.
  • Physical therapy comes in the form of different exercises, which can be performed at home.
  • The inflamed area can be injected with steroids.
  • Surgery is usually the last resort, but it will usually alleviate pain. Surgery is recommended if symptoms do not improve after 6 to 12 months. Rehabilitation exercises after surgery are crucial to recovery.

Low level laser therapy is an effective, drug-free, painless alternative to traditional tennis elbow treatments

Used on its own or in combination with traditional treatments under the guidance of a GP, cold laser can be effective in reducing or eliminating pain.

Instant or long-lasting relief cannot be guaranteed as results vary for each patient due to age, health condition, type of injury, lifestyle and concurrent treatments, however clinical evidence and our patients’ experiences indicate low level laser to be a worthwhile and effective treatment option for tennis elbow.

Laser Treatment for Tennis Elbow – Clinical Evidence

The effectiveness of low level laser in conjunction with stretching was investigated in a 2007 study. Results indicated cold laser plus stretching was more effective than placebo laser plus stretching in patients with lateral epicondylitis.

A study of the effectiveness of LLLT on the management of lateral epicondylitis indicated that LLLT in addition to exercise is effective in relieving pain, and in improving grip strength and physical function.

Lateral epicondylitis sufferers experienced better pain reduction as a result of laser than they did with bracing in addition to increased grip strength with LLLT in a 2007 study.

Don’t suffer any longer. You can get relief from the pain and return to your normal activities faster using low level laser therapy. We welcome you to book a treatment session or speak to our laser team for advice.