Tennis elbow is a condition that occurs when the tendons surrounding the joint become inflamed and cause pain. Repetitive movement of the elbow, such as swinging a tennis racquet, is the most common cause for this condition. Despite its name, this condition can happen to athletes of all sports and non-athletes with physical jobs.
What causes tennis elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)?
The overuse and weakening of the forearm muscles can cause additional strain on the tendons. When tendons strain, they begin to form small tears that lead to inflammation and pain. Repetitive movements of the elbow increase the strain, weakening and inflammation occurring. In summary, the more you use your forearm, the greater your chances are for getting this condition. As the name suggests, this is one of the most common sports injuries among tennis players. In addition, athletes who repetitively use their forearms playing tennis as well as people who do carpentry, painting and other physical jobs are susceptible to this injury.
What are the symptoms of tennis elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)?
Pain on the outside of the elbow is the most common symptom leading to diagnosis. Often times pain starts mildly and increases overtime if use of the elbow is not decreased. The pain can lead to a weakened grip, making it difficult to continue with sports and everyday activities. Furthermore, the pain can escalate and extend from the elbow into the forearm and wrist.
How to treat tennis elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)?
Often times limiting the use of the elbow can lead to a full recovery. Since this condition is a result of overuse and repetition, decreasing use can reverse the effects. Over-the-counter pain medications paired with icing the area can help alleviate pain. Depending on the severity of your condition, physical therapy and sports medicine can help to strengthen the elbow. A sports medicine doctor can work with you to get your elbow back to full functionality and use without pain. Lastly, if symptoms don’t improve with other treatment options your doctor may recommend surgery.
If you are suffering from tennis elbow or other injuries Spinal Rehab Sports Medicine can help. We can design a custom sports injury treatment plan that can get you on the road to recovery, fast. Don’t suffer any longer, and get back to doing what you love and living pain free!