All you need to know about tennis elbow

Tennis elbow, (also called lateral epicondylitis) is an injury that happens generally to adults anywhere from 30 years and above and is quite painful. It is caused by stressing the arms for prolonged periods of time due to strenuous activities and overuse.

This is also common among tennis players because of their long and intense hours of tennis practice hence the term being used commonly (lateral epicondylitis is a mouthful anyway). But there are other physical activities or sports that can also be the perpetrator.

How does tennis elbow occur?

Apart from the previously mentioned reasons, let’s break it down to see how it happens. The tendons that connect a person’s outside area of the elbow with the muscles of the forearms get inflamed. The muscles and the tendons get stressed out over a long period of time especially if the arms are doing a repetitive motion such as tennis swing practice or dance moves. The inflammation can cause a lot of pain and it’s a signal from the body to hold back on the physical activity. 

Getting treated for tennis elbow as soon as possible is important because the more you delay it, the higher the chances of tendons to be damaged and the recovery process becomes longer.

Most of the time athletes who play sports that include using the elbow intensely such as tennis, racquet ball, bowling etc suffer from this condition but other physical activities that include intensive arm movements can lead to this as well. These activities include lifting heavy weights or goods, cooking, factory labor etc. This is because they are repeating the same motions over and over.

 

Generally kids don’t get tennis elbow but if they are heavily involved in sports, it can occur. This is not to deter anyone from picking up sports that include upper body movements but just to advise that always learn the proper stroke techniques and not to overdo the practice.

 

      Symptoms

 

Non- surgical remedies

It all depends on the severity of the situation but no matter how painful it is, around 95% of the people don’t need to have any sort of surgical operation.The first step of the recovery process is to give your arm a rest. If you are a right-handed person, you should try to use your left hand more and vice versa until your elbow is completely healed.

 

Oral medications

Usually anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin are given. They not only help in easing the pain but also reduce the swelling on the arm. In some cases, injections are also given.  Your doctor may also prescribe you exercises or physical therapies to heal the elbow.

 

Surgical treatment

Usually, a tennis elbow is completely healed within 6 months to a year but if your elbow still doesn’t work well; chances are there may be more of an underlying issue and surgery could be an option.

 

If you are facing tennis elbow issues, it is always advised to see your doctor immediately.  Set up an appointment to consult with primary health care provider Dr. Shalin Parikh and discuss your concerns at Health One Family Medicine by calling 469-262-5762. Or visit www.healthonemedicine.com for more information.

Author
Health One Family Medicine

You Might Also Enjoy...