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Elbow Pain and Physiotherapy

Common elbow complaints

Elbow pain can occur for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to –

  • Injury (sporting injuries)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Nerve pain
  • Muscle imbalances, weak or tight muscles

Over time these factors can contribute to poor loading to your elbow and cause not only pain, but problems carrying out day to day tasks.

How Can Physiotherapy Help?

The aim of Physiotherapy is often to alleviate pain, prevent further wear and tear, and protect surrounding joints (such as your shoulder) from compensatory damage.

Physiotherapy can also help prevent injury around your elbow. If you visit your doctor or Physiotherapist soon enough, we can often give you advice, and prescribe exercises that can help delay, or prevent injury.

Physiotherapy Treatment

During your first session your Physiotherapist will discuss your symptoms, history, and goals before deciding on an appropriate treatment plan. Following are some examples of the kinds of treatments that might be used.

  • Manual therapy techniques, including massage and joint mobilistations, can help to alleviate symptoms and improve joint function. Physiotherapists often use such techniques in combination with exercise and other treatments
  • Physiotherapists often use a variety of machines/ modalities to help to ease your pain, reduce inflammation, or improve movement. Interferential, ultrasound or TENS machines are examples of these.
  • Finding a balance between rest and activity is important in managing symptoms. This will differ from person to person as not all conditions are the same, so discuss it with your Physiotherapist.
  • Heat or ice can also be used to achieve pain relief, depending on your condition. Your Physiotherapist will advise you of which of these is most appropriate.
  • Elbow straps, tennis elbow braces can also assist in reducing pain, and improving stability during your daily activities. Your Physiotherapist will discuss these options with you if it’s appropriate for your condition.
  • There are lots of exercises that can help manage pain and improve strength in and around your elbow Your Physiotherapist will discuss with you the type of exercise that is most appropriate for you. This might include a combination of land and aquatic based physiotherapy exercises, or even Clinical Pilates.
  • Equipment such as elastic tubing are often used in order to make certain exercises more challenging, or effective. The Physiotherapy department has all of this equipment available to you, and often more simple equipment is given to you so you can continue with your program at home.


Exercise is an important part of your treatment. It can help manage pain, increase strength and improve the function of your ankle. Your Physiotherapist will prescribe exercises, or stretches on an individual basis, depending on your condition.

Often your Physiotherapist will ask you to perform some exercises at home, in order to complement what you do your Physiotherapy sessions. Home exercises programs are very important, as it gives you the best chance of achieving your goals, and improving your function.

The Physiotherapist will provide you with your individually designed exercise program.

Book a consultation today!

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