Repetitive Strain Injury

Tennis Elbow

The In’s and Out’s of Elbow Pain

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Did you know that there are two well-known repetitive strain injuries common in the elbow? One is Tennis elbow and the other is Golfer’s elbow and they are not restricted to those who play tennis or golf. In both of these conditions’ tendon damage causes soreness and/or pain around the elbow. In this article we will be focusing on Tennis elbow, in which symptoms are noted on the outside of the elbow or the lateral epicondyle. The symptoms of tennis elbow are noticeable when the palm is turned upward. When damage occurs to these tendons in the forearm makes wrist movements and forearm rotation painful and can limit day to day activities.

Tennis elbow is considered a repetitive movement injury. The name is derived from repetitive movements that commonly occur when playing tennis. In fact, any repetitive movement from consistent turning and twisting can cause tennis elbow. Examples include working on an industrial machine, desk job, and other sports. Sometimes, tennis elbow can actually be caused by a direct blow to the tendons of the elbow area.

Did you know that a physical therapist can help relieve pain and restore motion and strength to the arm, wrist, fingers, and elbow? Our therapists can help you with the recovery as well as injury prevention and future recurrences of tennis elbow.

Your physician may recommend prescription medication to reduce pain and inflammation. The physical therapist will work closely with the physician to improve circulation, promote healing and help restore full function as quickly as possible.

If you or someone you know has pain in your forearm that interferes with daily activities, ask your physician if physical therapy is right for you. You can also contact us directly at In Touch Physical Therapy and we'll be happy to schedule an appointment right away.

At In Touch Physical Therapy, we will design an exercise program that is geared towards your specific needs, abilities and goals and help you. Don't suffer with the constant pain and restrictions of tennis elbow anymore. Contact our office today at 507-451-7888. Our goal is to help you. We'll be your ticket to a speedy recovery.

Repetitive Strain Injury

The rule of thumb for a repetitive strain injury (RSI) is to reduce further strain and rest the limb that may be tingling, numb or hurting. It is important to identify the symptoms as early as possible and seek help.

It is very common for athletes, musicians and writers to ignore the symptoms of a RSI. In order to prevent further injury and the resulting disability of RSI, it is best to seek the advice of a physical therapist.

Prevention Tips

If you are engaged in ongoing, repetitive activity on the job or during sports and recreational activities, it is important to rest periodically from the task and take note of the following:

  • Massage the limbs and joints

  • Stretch the muscles

  • Maintain hydration

  • Look for signs of overuse

  • If symptoms get worse, seek a physical therapist without delay

Physical Therapy Treatment

Conservative physical therapy management includes the following:

  • Strengthening the limbs and joints

  • Postural retraining

  • Bracing with the use of splints and wrist pads

  • Ergonomic intervention

  • Psychosocial rehabilitation

Identify, Prevent, and Manage Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). Ask Your Physical Therapist How!

Repetitive strain injury (RSI) occurs as a result of overuse or misuse of the body and it generally affects the upper extremities. It has been reported that approximately 60% of all occupational injuries can be attributed to RSI. This causes a significant decrease in productivity on a personal and professional level.


RSI usually occur in the fingers, elbows and wrists. The wrist joint experiences a great deal of stress as it is constantly used to perform simple tasks such as writing and typing. RSI is also quite common with musicians due to repetitive hand movements. 


The stress placed on the soft tissue (muscles, tendons, nerves, arteries and veins) of the extremities results in compression or entrapment as a result of inflammation. Common symptoms include:

  • Tingling

  • Pain

  • Stiff achy joints

  • Intermittent numbness

If left untreated, these symptoms can lead to serious conditions such as: 

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome CTS

  • Tendonitis

  • Tenosynovitis

  • Ganglionic cysts

We Will Get You Back on Track... Always

The goal of physical therapy in RSI is to reduce pain, improve motion and restore strength. Since RSI is a chronic injury and develops over time (and is often ignored in the early stages), a physical therapy rehabilitation program is essential.

It provides a long-term solution to prevent further injury and regain quality of life. As your physical therapists, we know that daily life comes with its fair share of stress, and we don't want you to have to deal with yet another source of (physical) stress in the form of RSI. At In Touch Physical Therapy, we are here to help you, and are committed to help you get better, faster.

Call us today at (507)-451-7888 to learn how we can help you recover from RSI and get you back on track with your job, and your life.