I Never Play Tennis But My Doctor Says I Have Tennis Elbow!

Yes, it’s possible – you don’t have to be a tennis player to suffer fromTennis Elbow. Tennis Elbow is a painful condition and can happen to anyone including handyman, painter, butcher, assembly line worker, maid, weight lifter, homemaker or a sedentary individual having a desk job. The condition is caused due to repetitive movement of the elbow including repetitive hammering, heavy weight lifting or prolonged typing on a keyboard.

Tennis Elbow or medically known as lateral epicondylitis presents with pain and soreness on the outer aspect of elbow. The pain can extend down to front or back of forearm. One might have pain with simple activities like pouring coffee in a cup, lifting grocery bags, holding something tight, opening a jar, turning the doorknob or wrist movements.

The pain is caused due to repetitive movements causing micro tears in the tendon attached to the bony process at the elbow. Pain around the inner aspect of elbow is a similar type of injury called the Golfer’s elbow or Medial epicondylitis.

Your Physician or Physical Therapist can help you clinically rule out other conditions and confirm the diagnosis of lateral epicondylitis. It should be differentiated from any neck conditions causing elbow pain, local inflammation around elbow involving bursa or other nerve involvements.

Treatment of Tennis Elbow would have you to rest the part and avoid the pain triggering activity. A Tennis Elbow brace provides support to the elbow during daily activities. The brace worn just below the elbow joint inhibits the use of tendons during elbow movements. Icing of elbow for 10-15 mins is recommended to decrease pain and inflammation.

You might be prescribed anti-inflammatory medications. Your Physical Therapist will help you restore pain free elbow range by administering therapeutic modalities like ultrasound, gentle stretching and strengthening of wrist and elbow. They would help you release the trigger points of muscles around the elbow which are a cause of pain.

You can always prevent the occurrence of Tennis Elbow by strengthening your extremity, ensuring correct size racquets while playing sports, using both your hands alternatively during any repetitive activity, sufficient breaks and stretches with a prolonged activity. Always be mindful of not avoiding minor pain and paying immediate attention to the same. It’s best to nip it in the bud.

By: Devanshi Modi, PT

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