What Is Tennis Elbow? Symptoms, Causes and treatment
In this section, we will tell you something about tennis elbow. As the name indicates, it is a problem related to the elbow. It is also regarded as a painful condition that may turn out to be severe and thus, a person needs medical support. The term ‘tennis’ doesn’t particularly mean that it happens most with people who play tennis or other sports. It can take place in other people as well. The problem of tennis elbow mainly occurs among people between 30 to 50 years of age. But yes, one in every two people who play tennis has a likelihood to suffer from this condition. Before moving on to our topic, we will tell you something about the anatomy of the elbow.
The Elbow Anatomy
It refers to a hinge joint that connects the upper arm to the forearm for enabling movement. You can understand this joint similar to the knee and ankle joint. It is made up of three bones, namely humerus, ulna, and radius that contain a layer of cartilage on their ends. Apart from that, it consists of several things including nerves, ligaments, bones, and blood vessels. The two major ligaments in the elbow are the medial collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligament. Two chief tendons present in the elbow are the biceps tendon and the triceps tendon.
About Tennis Elbow
Also known as lateral epicondylitis or lateral elbow pain, this condition happens when the elbow tendons are supposed to be overloaded. This activity usually takes place due to frequent motions of the arm and wrist. You can identify it as the weakening or inflammation of the tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the bones. This condition is supposed to be common and necessitates minor treatment. At the time of suffering from this problem, a person may need to take rest and it calls for some time to heal.
About The Pain Experienced
Now, talking about the pain, it can be felt on the outer side of the arm where the forearm connects to the elbow. At the time of performing some arm-based movements, the tendons may suffer from small tears that may lead to stress on the rest of the arm. Consequently, there can be problems and a feeling of pain at the time of lifting and holding things. A person can also suffer from pain when he straightens or bends his arms.
Who Are At More Risk Of Suffering From Tennis Elbow?
This condition develops in those who carry out repetitive actions that strongly use the hands, wrists, or forearms. Sports enthusiasts from other fields like cricket (bowler), baseball or softball players, squash players, or golfers can also have it. Apart from that, some professions are also at a higher risk of suffering from it. For example, auto mechanics, musicians, dentists, carpenters, chefs, plumbers, gardeners, etc.
Know About The Causes of Tennis Elbow
One of the primary causes of tennis elbow is the repetitive motion of the wrist or wrong movements of the arm. If there is a presence of swelling and pain in the tendons or joints, there can be an occurrence of tennis elbow. If a person is involved in a profession that contains the usage of a hammer or screwdriver can have this kind of problem. Else, painters can also suffer from it. And remember, a strong motion by which the muscle or tendon is pulled around the elbow can also become the cause of the tennis elbow.
Particularly talking about the game of tennis, if a person makes use of a tightly strung or an undersized racket, he might suffer from tennis elbow. Else, if a tennis player wants to get rid of it, he should avoid hitting heavy or wet balls. They should also attempt to have a proper backhand stroke. An improper stroke can also create issues with the elbow.
Even trauma is also regarded as one of the causes of tennis elbow. However, it is not that common, but yes, due to a direct blow to the elbow, problems can take place. If the tendon receives swelling, there can be chances of an overuse injury of the elbow. Those who work on computers should also need to be attentive. Some people can face this type of trouble with activities like swimming or turning a key.
Other daily-life activities can also create this kind of issue. For example, making use of scissors, cutting trees with the help of a chain saw, cutting with a knife, or cutting tough food. Even meat sellers should also need to be attentive as they are at risk of experiencing this situation.
What Are The Symptoms of Tennis Elbow?
When a person suffers from tennis elbow, there can be an occurrence of various problems. One of the identifiable symptoms of the tennis elbow is a pain in the outer part of the elbow. The pain can be temporary and as time passes, it can be constant. Even a person can find problems with touching his elbow. And yes, there can be cases where the pain reaches the wrist and forearm.
It will be better to see the doctor if the pain continues to trouble after a week. You may experience some other affairs like problems in moving the arm, swelling, or redness in the area around the elbow. If you’re noticing a weakened grip, like problems in holding someone’s hand, a pen, a coffee cup, or some other item, it is regarded as one of the symptoms of tennis elbow. A person suffering from this problem may also find pain at the time of lifting an object, opening jars, or pressing an item. Some other symptoms include stiffness in the morning time with constant pain or soreness of the forearm muscles.
Diagnosis of Tennis Elbow
If you feel the symptoms of tennis elbow or if there is a discomfort in the elbow that continues for long and doesn’t settle automatically, talk to the healthcare professional. For better support, you can talk to the doctors of Mewar Hospitals. We are available in numerous cities of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh with experienced and skilled doctors. Now, when you’ll meet the doctor for this problem, he may ask some questions, like symptoms faced or medical history. He may inspect for pain and tell you to do some movements.
If needed, he may suggest some tests like electromyography, MRI, or X-ray. Tests like X-ray or MRI can sometimes turn out to be helpful in finding out more severe conditions like arthritis. Even they show if there is an injury to the elbow joint. Instead of an X-ray, an MRI may be preferred as it can deliver more detailed information to the doctor. Electromyography is used to detect problems with the nerves. In some cases, the doctor can take help from other imaging tests like CT scan or ultrasound.
Treatment Options for Tennis Elbow
Now, talking about the treatment of tennis elbow, more than 3/4 of the entire cases of tennis elbow can be solved non-surgically. Let’s know about such conservative options.
1. Home-Based Procedures
One of the important things to remember at the time of healing from the tennis elbow is delivering rest to the arm. If you’ll try to stay away from day-to-day activities for some time, it will be useful in healing the tendon. Else, you can have an ice massage that helps to lessen pain and inflammation. The doctor may also suggest a brace that helps to immobilize the affected muscles.
Using some kind of medicine is also useful for the treatment of tennis elbow. The doctor can suggest taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines that help to decrease pain and swelling.
3. Physical Therapy
The next option that can be helpful in several ways is assistance from a physical therapist. He can guide to perform various exercises that support improving strength and flexibility. With its help, a person can also decrease the chances of a tennis elbow or a futuristic elbow injury. The PT can also recommend stretching or strengthening exercises in such scenarios.
4. Steroid Injection
If a person is struggling badly with this condition and the symptoms are supposed to be painful, there can be a recommendation for a steroid injection. With the help of injectable corticosteroids, a person can find relief from joint pain and inflammation for some time. But, after that, it is necessary to rest the arm and keep it away from putting too much strain.
When cases are supposed to be severe and non-surgical options don’t work for good and the symptoms aren’t getting fine even after months, there can be a need to perform surgery. This may turn out to be a necessary step when there is a need to eliminate the damaged part of the tendon or muscle. The replacement will be done by a healthy tendon or muscle that the doctor can take from another part of the body. If someone goes through this surgical procedure, there will be a need for around three to four months for recovery.
6. Other Options
The doctor can take help from other modes like PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection, minimally invasive tenotomy, shock wave therapy, or ultrasound therapy.
How To Prevent Tennis Elbow?
Here are some points that can help to lessen the chances of tennis elbow.
- If you admire tennis and love to play it, it is important to play with a right-sized and fit racket. For that, you can ask an expert to check your racket. You can prefer lightweight rackets having a larger grip size.
- You must have read in the upper segment that one of the main causes of tennis elbow is repetitive movements. That’s why; make sure to avoid this kind of activity.
- The next thing is building the body parts. Try to elevate the strength of your forearm muscles. Keeping the arms as well as wrists flexible and strong can be helpful in preventing the risk of tennis elbow. If you’re involved in an activity that requires the same movements, again and again, it will be better to warm up and stretch first.
- Even if you exercise, try to bring dedicated concentration to movement techniques.
Some Other Things To Know
The problem of tennis elbow can take place in one or both arms. The pain generated from this condition may interrupt the person from performing physical activities. But yes, if you have suffered from it, don’t panic too much. Yes, it is common, but not too serious, and doesn’t lead to long-term problems as well. Doctors are there to help. One important thing to remember in this case is one should not keep it untreated. If he does, the problem can convert into an injury where surgical help may become essential.
The Concluding Words
We hope you would have gained some useful knowledge from the information mentioned in this blog. Now, if you feel uncomfortable with the elbow and aren’t finding relief with self-care measures, please visit Mewar Hospitals. Here, you’ll find the assistance of our team that will help you in getting out of the problem. Even if you’re experiencing some other kind of medical problem that is interrupting the joy of life, we are here with a chain of professional doctors and surgeons from various departments. So, you can call our team for queries or other information.
Mewar Hospital-The Name You Can Trust
Mewar Hospitals is a reputed name in the segment of private medical authorities serving its facilities to thousands of patients. We suggest everyone to stay active and healthy. But, even if a person is healthy and fit, he can suffer from a medical problem. Sometimes, it may turn out to be bigger if isn’t solved on time. Therefore, we recommend all our readers to be attentive to their health. If a problem is concerning your mind and heart, don’t live with it. Talk to the doctors and they will guide you to the appropriate path that will help in achieving a better recovery.
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