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You don’t have to play at Wimbledon to get tennis elbow

Wondering how and why tennis elbow arises? The experts at are here to explain what can be done to ease the pain.

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As Wimbledon draws to a close, it’s time to talk about one of the common health problems that many enthusiastic tennis fans will have experienced – however it isn’t exclusive to tennis players alone. Health experts at Bridgeham Clinic explain:

Tennis elbow is when the muscle tendons in the forearm responsible for controlling the extension action of the wrist become irritated and inflamed.

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The inflammation usually occurs at the point where the tendons attach onto the outer part of the elbow.

Pain can also be present in the bone itself. That’s the dull ‘toothache’ pain that tends to be there all the time, worse at night, and the acutely disproportionate nauseating wave of pain that immediately kicks in as you accidently misjudge the door frame you just passed through!

Tennis elbow tends to arise as a result of over-use or repetitive strain activities or sports such as tennis, however, many times a tennis elbow sufferer has never played tennis! More often the onset of pain is after prolonged keyboard use or a change in normal activities.

At Bridgeham, the osteopath can assess the elbow joint and severity of inflammation and treat with a combination of articulation, soft tissue massage, ultrasound, manipulation and acupuncture if required.

The osteopath can also assess the rest of your posture including shoulder, neck & head positioning which often influences tennis elbow cause and recovery.

Tennis elbow symptoms vary between individuals and so recovery doesn’t always depend on severity of pain. However, with an average tendonitis (inflammation of the tendon) we would expect to see an improvement in symptoms within the first two to three treatments.

We often advise home exercises, use of supports and strategies to continue improvements between visits. There are times when tennis elbow can arise from repetitive movement habits, daily challenges or posture. If this is the case, we would continue the recovery journey with our Pilates team to increase your awareness and prevent reoccurrence of the symptoms.

“My tennis elbow started when I was about 17 years old from playing badminton and went on for about 2 years forcing me to consider giving it up. However, the osteopaths at Bridgeham have made it possible for me to continue playing and not suffer in pain for doing so!” – Miss W

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Health & Wellbeing

South East’s diagnostic units struggling with demand for life-saving bowel cancer tests

These tests detect bowel cancer, the UK’s second biggest cancer killer, early when it is easier to treat and patients have a greater chance of survival.

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Over 20 hospitals in the South East of England are in breach of a waiting time target for life-saving tests that could diagnose bowel cancer. Under NHS rules patients should wait no more than six weeks, but in one hospital in the region 25% per cent of patients are waiting beyond this time.  

Patients should wait no more than six weeks for a colonoscopy test that can detect bowel cancer early when it is easier to treat. Referrals may be from a variety of sources. Approximately over half of patients (55%) are diagnosed with bowel cancer via a GP referral, a quarter are diagnosed in an emergency such as patients going to A&E, and 10% are diagnosed through screening.

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The waiting times published by NHS England on Thursday 11 October is further evidence that demand for diagnostic tests are outstripping capacity. Many hospitals are at breaking point because they simply do not have the capacity to meet the growing demand for these services. A lack of funding, limited resources and a shortage of staff to carry out the number of procedures needed are contributing to this.

To reduce the number of patients waiting longer than the NHS target for these vital tests, Bowel Cancer UK’s ‘End the Capacity Crisis’ campaign is calling on the government to invest in more NHS staff to work in bowel cancer units in North of England, Yorkshire and the Humber hospitals.

The two key tests to diagnose bowel cancer are colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy – a camera on a thin, flexible cable inserted through the anus to look at different parts of the bowel.  These tests are known as endoscopy procedures and can detect cancer at the earliest stage of the disease, when it is more treatable, and even prevent cancer through the removal of pre-cancerous growths (polyps).

The three hospitals with some of the highest percentage of patients waiting more than six weeks for colonoscopy appointments in August 2018 are: Brighton and Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust (25%), University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (17%) and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (9%).

The three hospitals with some of the highest percentage of patients waiting more than six weeks for flexible sigmoidoscopy appointments are: Brighton and Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust (33%), University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (9%) and Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust (5%).

Ahead of the Government spending review in November, Bowel Cancer UK is calling on Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon Philip Hammond, and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, The Rt Hon Matt Hancock, to work together to develop a fully funded action plan to tackle NHS staff shortages in diagnostic services for bowel cancer and end the capacity crisis. Thousands of people, including patients, NHS staff, leading professional bodies and Members of Parliament, have backed the charity’s call by signing a letter to Government.

Asha Kaur, Head of Policy & Campaigns at Bowel Cancer UK, says:

“These waiting time figures present a worrying picture for patients and demonstrate the urgent need for the Government to make addressing this capacity crisis a national priority. If hospitals are expected to meet waiting time targets then they must be given the resources and capacity to enable them to meet these standards.”

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