Tennis elbow is a condition that occurs as a result of the tendons in the elbow being overworked, causing severe pain and discomfort. Tennis elbow can occur due to repetitive movement of the arm and wrist and poor technique in tennis. However, several other occupations can also cause tennis elbow.
Tennis elbow pin occurs in the region where the tendons of the forearm muscles join the bony prominence on the outer aspect of the elbow. Pain may also radiate to the forearm and wrist.
Symptoms of tennis elbow can be alleviated with rest and over-the-counter pain killers. If conservative treatment measures are ineffective, you may require surgery.
Tennis Elbow Exercises- The Best Stretch for Tennis Elbow Pain
Signs and symptoms
Pain may travel from the outer aspect of the elbow to the forearm and wrist.
Pain and weakness due to tennis elbow may result in difficulty in:
- Shaking hands
- Holding a cup of tea or coffee
- Turning a doorknob
When to seek medical attention
See your doctor if self-care measures such as rest, ice therapy, compression, elevation and pain relievers are ineffective in treating elbow pain, tenderness and weakness.
Initial treatment methods for tennis elbow include the R.I.C.E. therapy.
- Rest. Allow the elbow to rest properly from aggravating activities. However, do not try to avoid activity completely. You can allow your elbow to rest using a forearm splint during nighttime so that you do not suffer from severe early morning symptoms and keep your body active at the same time.
- Ice. Apply an ice back or use ice massage, a compression sleeve with cold water or a slush bag to reduce swelling. Make sure you apply ice right after the injury.
- Compression. Apply an elastic wrap or compression bandage to compress the affected region.
- Elevation. Keep the elbow elevated above heart level as much as possible, to reduce swelling.
Other conservative treatment measures include over-the-counter pain relievers to control pain.
If conservative treatment measures are ineffective physical therapy or surgery may be required to treat tennis elbow.
- Improve form. Your doctor may advise you to have an expert check your form and technique in playing tennis.
- Exercises. Your health care provider or physical therapist may recommend performing some exercises to slowly stretch and strengthen muscles, particularly the forearm muscles.
- Braces. You may be required to wear a forearm brace or strap in order to decrease the amount of stress in the affected tissue in the elbow.
If symptoms are persistent tor have not improved for a year of conservative and physical therapy, you may be referred to a surgeon to have the damaged tissue removed from your arm. A large incision or several small incisions will be employed in a surgical procedure for tennis elbow. This will be followed by rehabilitation exercises to enhance recovery.