How can physiotherapy help with tennis elbow?
Accurate diagnosis is crucial in the selection of the best treatment for tennis elbow. Your physiotherapist will be able to accurately assess and differentiate the source of your elbow pain. Once your physiotherapist has established the source of your pain, they will discuss the best management of your condition and a plan to return you to being pain-free.
Part of your physiotherapy management may include some hands-on treatment. Your physiotherapist will teach you how to do this yourself. They may also perform a manual technique called mobilisation with movement (MWM), which has been demonstrated to assist with the pain of tennis elbow.
Another treatment that your physiotherapist will use is exercises with weights, which will help relieve the pain, increase the ability of the tendon to cope with load and increase the strength of your forearm muscles. This will be something that your physiotherapist will progress as you get stronger. You will probably need to do this for 12 weeks.
Your physiotherapist may fit you with a tennis elbow brace or use strapping to relieve the pain in the short term, but this will not be the solution to your problem and is not a substitute for exercise.
Finally, your physiotherapist will discuss some of the treatment options that you can talk about with your doctor, such as the use of topical medications. New research has indicated that corticosteroid injections result in worse long-term outcomes compared to physiotherapy or placebo injections.