Tennis Elbow – Lateral Epicondylitis

Tennis Elbow

What Is Tennis Elbow?

The name might suggest that the condition must be common in people who play tennis. Surprisingly, most cases are reported in which people who do not play tennis are affected. However, tennis and badminton players may also suffer from tennis elbow. In this condition, the tendons in the elbow get overused by continuous movement of arms. Carpenters, plumbers, butchers and painters are more likely to suffer from the condition. The pain arises where the bony bump on the outer elbow, known as lateral epicondyle in medical terms, is attached to the tendons of the forearms muscle.

What Are The Symptoms Of Tennis Elbow?

Pain is the only symptom of tennis elbow. However if pain begins from the outside of elbow and goes through the forearm and wrist, it could be considered as a symptom of tennis elbow. This pain may lead to difficulties in:

  • Holding a cup.
  • Shaking hands.
  • Turning doorknob.

It is recommended not to delay the treatment of tennis elbow and see a doctor as soon as the pain arises.

What Causes Tennis Elbow?

The major reason for tennis elbow is too much movement of forearms and wrist. The overuse and persistent pressure on the tissue causes small tears in the tendons. Excess movement could be caused by:

  • Playing tennis or badminton, especially if using wrong techniques.
  • Painting.
  • Regularly cutting of products like meat.
  • Driving screws.

What Are The Risk Factors Of Tennis Elbow?

The following factors increase the risk for a person to suffer from tennis elbow:

  • Sports, especially tennis and badminton with wrong techniques.
  • Age of between 30 years to 50 years.
  • An occupation of carpentry, plumbing, butcher and cooking.

What Are The Complications Of Tennis Elbow?

If left untreated and the victims continue to lift heavy things, tennis elbow could result in chronic pain and make the condition worse.

How Is Tennis Elbow Diagnosed?

Diagnosing tennis elbow is relatively easy for doctors. An observation of elbow by applying pressure along with movement of arms and fingers is usually enough. Other diagnosing methods include:

  • Medical history.
  • Physical exam.
  • X-ray and/or other imaging tests in case tennis elbow could not be diagnosed through other methods.

How Is Tennis Elbow Treated?

If tennis elbow does not cure on its own, the doctors may suggest the following therapies:

  • Exercises to strengthen muscles.
  • Forearm brace to reduce pressure on injured tissue.
  • Learning techniques to play sports in a way that applies less pressure on forearms and wrist.

If the therapies fail to cure the pain within a few months, a surgery may be required. The surgery will eventually remove the damaged tissue through either one large or several small incisions. Apart from medical treatments, some DIY home activities and strategies could help improve pain to a great extent. For example, allowing the affected arm to rest, consuming pain relievers like ibuprofen and applying ice for around four times a day could significantly contribute in curing tennis elbow.

 

By : Natural Health News


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