Tennis elbow is a term used for a painful elbow disorder.
The condition occurs when the elbow tendons are overloaded with frequent motions of the arm and the wrist. The pain from tennis elbow derives mostly from damaged or injured tendons close to the elbow. Tendons are tissues that connect the bones to the muscles. Tendons become swollen and degenerate when overused or stressed frequently. This causes a painful disorder named tendinopathy. The pain can also spread to the wrist and the forearms. Most people, whose job includes repetitive motions, including carpenters, painters, plumbers, and butchers, can get tennis elbow. Pain relievers and rest can assist in reducing tennis elbow pain. If the symptom continues or the treatments don’t help, a physician can suggest surgery. The condition can occur at any age, but it’s mostly common for people around age 40 years.
Causes of Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow is caused by too much use of the forearm due to strenuous or repetitive activity. The disorder is linked with frequent contraction of the muscles in the forearm. These muscles tend to control the movement of the wrist and hand. Tendons connect the muscles to small points of the bone on the elbow. One is on the inner side while the other one is outside. Tennis elbow can sometimes be caused by knocking or banging your elbow. If the forearm muscles are strained, inflammations and small tears can close the bony lump at the outer side of an elbow. Tennis elbow can also be caused by using forearm muscles to do an activity the muscles are not used to, such as decorating and gardening. However, the disorder can still occur even if the forearm muscles are used often.
Signs and Symptoms of Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow can cause the affected area to be extremely tender. This tenderness causes a lot of pain, especially when the elbow and wrist are moved in a certain manner. Pain experienced in various movements, including stretching the finger, bending the waist, or bending the hand, indicates tennis elbow. There is usually no sign of swelling or redness. Mostly the arm that does the most work is the one that is affected by tennis elbow. Tennis elbow can occur due to various reasons. Some individuals get the disorder after they begin doing new kinds of work. Others get the condition after doing the same work for many years. Other times, it can occur when the elbow is injured, or after serious muscle exertion.
Treating Tennis Elbow
Early treatment of tennis elbow helps in the prevention of a severe condition. The condition requires quick medical attention as soon as the symptoms appear. Sometimes tennis elbow heals on its own, but this happens when one avoids straining the area. The most effective steps for the treatment of the condition include:
- Exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles
- Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles
- Avoiding the activities that may cause pain on the elbow
- Correction of improper motions and postures
- To reduce pain or inflammation, one can use medications or ice packs.
The essential tennis elbow treatment is to avoid the activities that may trigger the elbow pain. This disorder mostly disappears when people avoid or change the activities that trigger the pain on the elbow. Sometimes doctors give an injection that helps to speed healing and decrease inflammation. This treatment is effective but cannot be used often. Support pads and elbow bracing are also effective in relieving pain for short-term periods. If the symptoms or condition doesn’t improve between six to twelve months, surgery might be the best solution. The surgical proc