Tag Archives: stevenage

Anatomy of “Tennis Elbow”

Tennis elbow affects the outer aspect of the elbow joint, with the pain feeling like it’s on the bone. Pain can radiate down into the forearm and sometimes into the hand.

The tissues causing the pain are usually the tendons of the forearm extensor muscles, most commonly the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis – this is a muscle which helps to stabilise the wrist when the elbow is straight or almost straight. This is why people get pain when they reach out and pick something up – the muscle is doing two jobs at once and it is struggling.

When the muscle has been overworked the tendon at the elbow becomes inflamed and painful. If properly rested in the initial stages of the injury it can settle down but if not, it becomes a chronic condition which can be tricky to get rid of without proper treatment. The muscles become very tight and sore and the elbow gets more painful.

If you think you have tennis elbow or any other ache or pain, please don’t leave it – call us on 01438 317037 to arrange a consultation with one of our physiotherapists who will assess you, provide you with a diagnosis and give you some treatment and advice.

Kerri Surman – Specialist Sports and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist

“Tennis Elbow”

Have you ever met a tennis player with elbow pain? I actually haven’t! Contrary to the name this condition is known by, it affects a lot more of the population than just tennis players.

To give it the proper medical term this injury is Lateral Epicondylopathy / Epicondialgia.

3D illustration of a tennis elbow with close-up.

Pain on the outside of the elbow, usually pinpoint on the bone or just below with stiffness radiating into the forearm. 

If you have “tennis elbow” the likelihood is you will struggle with gripping heavy items so you may have pain when lifting the kettle, your arm might be sore after carrying a few heavy shopping bags around town and you may notice it is stiff and sore when you wake up in the morning but this eases after a short time.

This problem generally hangs around for quite a while and without treatment can get considerably worse causing you to stop using your arm for painful tasks. This is obviously not ideal day-to-day but will lead to weakness and further problems if not addressed.

If you think you may have “tennis elbow” or are suffering with any type of ache or pain it is best to get checked by an expert. Call us on 01438 317037 to arrange a consultation with one of our physiotherapists who will assess you, provide you with a diagnosis and give you some treatment and advice.

Kerri Surman – Specialist Sports and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist

Treatment for a Sprained Ankle

There are quite a few things your physiotherapist can do to help with your ankle sprain. At first, we need to reduce your pain and swelling.

One method we have at our clinic to help with this process is called interferential. This is a type of electrotherapy which sends small electrical impulses into the tissues to stimulate healing, blood flow and reduce pain by encouraging your body to release endorphins.

If you’ve heard of a TENS machine it’s basically a supersized one of those which physiotherapists are qualified to administer. Usually after 15-20 minutes on this machine your ankle will feel much less painful which will improve your walking and will make it easier to do your rehab which your physiotherapist will also provide you with.

If you need treatment for a sprained ankle, or any other injury we can usually see you within 48 hours of you calling us. So please give us a ring on 01438 317037 or message us through our Facebook page.

Kerri Surman – Specialist Sports and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist

Exercise for an Ankle Sprain

We’ve discussed how damage to the ligaments and muscles causes the ankle to feel weak and unstable which leads to more twisted ankles. So how do we make it stronger and prevent future sprains?

Banded ankle eversion is a really simple but effective exercise to strengthen the peroneal muscles – if these muscles are strong, they will help keep your ankle in a straight line when you’re walking on uneven ground and reduce the chances of you spraining it again.

All you need is a stretchy band, also called resistance bands or resistance tubing. Place the middle of the band around the little toe of your injured ankle and pull the ends towards the good foot, hook the band under your good foot to create an anchor point for the band, then you’re ready. Slowly pull your injured foot outwards, stretching the band as you do. Hold for 2 seconds and then slowly bring the foot back to the middle. Repeat 15-20 times, rest for 1 minute and repeat again 3 or 4 times. Every few days try to increase your reps.

If you have worsening ankle pain, you should stop the exercise but all you should feel is an ache to the outside of your shin.

If you need this exercise progressing and more exercises to make sure your ankle heals fully please give us a call to arrange an appointment on 01438 317037 or message us through our Facebook page.

Kerri Surman – Specialist Sports and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist

Anatomy of an Ankle Sprain

The most commonly injured structures when we twist our ankle are the ligaments on the outside of the ankle and the peroneal muscles at the side of the lower leg.

There are 3 main ligaments on the outside of the ankle, they all have quite long names so we will just call them ATFL, CFL and PTFL. Usually the ATFL gets injured, sometimes the CFL also gets injured and in the most serious ankles sprains the PTFL also gets damaged. The ligaments help to attach bones of the foot to the fibula part of the ankle joint. They also send information to the brain about how balanced we are. If they get damaged, they can be weakened and so give less stability and could send less signals to the brain causing the ankle to feel less balanced. This means that you could suffer more sprains to the same ankle.

The peroneal muscles are on the side of the ankle and lower leg. These muscles pull the foot outwards and stop it from rolling inwards. When we twist our ankle and the foot is forced inwards this can cause a strain of the Peroneals. If the ankle doesn’t get the correct treatment and you aren’t advised on the correct exercises, this strain can add to the weakness and lack of stability of the ankle.

If you sprain your ankle please give us a ring and book an appointment – it will save you pain, money, time and hassle if you do it early.

Speak to our friendly team on 01438 317037 or message us through our Facebook page.

Kerri Surman – Specialist Sports and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist

Injury Topic of the Month – Ankle Sprain

Who hasn’t sprained an ankle at some time in their life? 

It must be the most commonly suffered injury. We see quite a few in our clinic which is a good thing for those who come to seek out physio advice, because most people just let it heal on its own and this usually leads to weakness, instability and sometimes ongoing pain. With this injury you are much better off seeing a physio once or twice early on, rather than ten or twelve times when you’ve been suffering for 6 months.

There are 2 main types of ankle sprain – medial and lateral – which basically means you either turned your foot inwards or outwards. The most common is when your foot goes inwards, and you end up with pain on the outside of your ankle.

This injury cause pain, swelling, bruising, stiffness, it makes us hobble around and can therefore cause knee pain, hip pain and back pain. A lateral ankle sprain is generally damage to one or more of the ligaments on the outside of the foot and ankle and a strain to the muscles, but it could also cause fractures to the fibula or the 5thmetatarsal. If you genuinely cannot put weight on your foot after you twist your ankle you need to go to A&E, but if you can put even a little weight on it you don’t, and you should see a physiotherapist.

We can usually see you within 48 hours of you ringing us – during these 48 hours you should ice and elevate your foot to help with the swelling and pain.

You can call to arrange an appointment on 01438 317037 or message us via our Facebook page.

Kerri Surman – Specialist Sports and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist

Treatments for Anterior Knee Pain

There are many things a physiotherapist will do to help you with your knee pain. Certain treatments will depend on the exact nature of the problem but here are a few that might be beneficial.

Deep tissue massage for the quadricep, hamstring and calf muscles as these can become tight and stiff either causing the knee pain or as a result of the knee pain.

Taping to support the knee cap can alleviate a lot of symptoms by reducing compression on the patella tendon or fat pad, or can help to ensure the knee cap moves in a more efficient and less painful way.

Electrotherapy can alleviate pain and help to stimulate some healing within the soft tissue structures of the knee.

Acupuncture can help by reducing inflammation, stimulating healing and reducing tissue stiffness. Acupuncture also has an amazing effect on the body by encouraging it to release endorphins which are our own internal pain killers.

If you are suffering from knee pain, please don’t leave it – not only is it likely to get worse but it could lead to foot and ankle pain or hip and back pain. Call us to get an appointment – we can usually see you within 48 hours of you ringing us – 01438 317037.

Kerri Surman – Specialist Sports and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist

Anterior Knee Pain

Basically, this means pain at the front of the knee! 

We see a lot of people with knee pain that seems to have come on for no reason, there was no actual injury incident, but the pain is getting worse or just won’t go away. Sometimes the pain is pinpoint specific and sometimes it is more vague. 

Anterior knee pain usually causes symptoms of pain going up and down stairs, pain when standing up after sitting for more than half an hour which eases after a few steps and difficulty kneeling on the sore knee.

The source of the pain could be the back of the kneecap itself, sometimes the cartilage on the back of the kneecap can become painful and inflamed. The pain could be coming from the patella tendon which attaches onto the bottom of the kneecap and the top of your shin bone, it could also come from various squashy tissues at the front of the knee which are there to reduce friction when the knee is moving.

Anterior knee pain can be easily helped with physiotherapy – but if it isn’t treated it tends to go on and on, not really getting better on its own. The longer it is left, the worse the pain tends to get the longer it will then take to get better once you visit a physio.

This is a pain that you shouldn’t push through and you shouldn’t ignore.

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms please get in contact with us, the sooner the better. We will absolutely be able to help.

Give our lovely reception team a call on 01438 317037 to book in.

Kerri Surman – Specialist Sports and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist

Anatomy of Low Back Pain

Most low back pain is muscular, largely due to the muscles named Quadratus Lumborum or QL for short. The QL are 2 large muscles which attach to the top of your pelvis, 4 of your Lumbar vertebrae and your lower ribs. The QL muscles are involved in all movements of the lower back in some way although they are not really the main movement muscles, they are mostly helpers. They also help with breathing due to their attachments onto the bottom of the rib cage. 

The Quadratus Lumborum Muscle shown in red

When we sit for long periods of time the main movement muscles of the lower back become weak because we aren’t using them – this means that when they are called upon and cannot provide enough strength, the QL muscles help out more than they should do. They then get very fatigued and painful. This can also lead them to become strained or go into spasm and this is the root of a lot of low back pain.

Unfortunately, once we have had an episode of back pain it is very likely it will happen again unless we address the underlying issues causing the problems.

Our expert physiotherapists can help ease the pain of QL spasm as well as lots of other causes of back pain. We have been providing back pain treatment to the people of Stevenage for over 25 years. 

Don’t leave it and hope that it goes away, you are likely to need advice on how to reduce further episodes of back pain. 

Call us now on 01438 317037, we will be able to see you within 48 hours and usually have appointments available even sooner.

Kerri Surman – Specialist Sports & Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist