Tennis elbow is not just an injury for tennis players.

It is a condition in which tendon damage causes soreness or pain around the outside of the elbow or the lateral epicondyle. The term tennis elbow is often used to describe any injury that occurs as a result of someone using their elbow, wrist or hand in repetitive motions as part of their job, hobby or sports activities. From office workers and mechanics to musicians, anyone who performs the same type of motions over and over can experience the intense pain of tennis elbow. Men are more likely to develop the condition than women and it typically flares up in their 30s to 50s. Even children can develop tennis elbow. 

The most common symptoms of tennis elbow are:

  • Pain on the outside of your elbow
  • Pain when lifting objects
  • Pain into the forearm, usually gradual onset
  • Pain is worse when shaking hands or squeezing objects, stabilizing or moving the wrist with force.
    Like opening jars, using tools, or even handling utensils.

Your Best Pain Relief Strategy for Tennis Elbow

The best way to relieve tennis elbow is to STOP doing anything that causes pain. Don’t try to power through a task or continue to play if the symptoms of tennis elbow are present. It can exacerbate the condition and result in more damage.

The affected arm should be rested and ice treatments applied every 10-20 minutes. It’s also helpful to support the injured arm and elbow by wrapping it with an elastic bandage to relieve pressure on the muscles and tendons.

Physical therapy for tennis elbow is beneficial for:

  • Relieving pain
  • Reducing inflammation and swelling
  • Strengthening muscles and tendons
  • Reducing the risk of re-injury
  • Rehabilitation if surgery is required

Tendons heal slowly and left untreated, the condition can take weeks or even months to heal and if the injury is severe enough, recovery can take up to a year. The condition can become chronic, with periodic flare-ups upon usage, accompanied by inflammation and swelling.

It’s important that individuals use equipment that’s appropriate to their size, strength and fitness level when participating in sports. People begin to lose strength in their forearms as they age, which increases the potential for injury, while others overestimate their fitness level.

We Can Help You

Exercise and physical therapy is the only long term solution to recover and prevent injury. Once your tendons have started to heal, physical therapy will help you regain strength and endurance. Your physical therapist will assist you during the rehabilitation process every step of the way. Treatment may also include cold therapy to reduce swelling, medications to reduce pain and inflammation and rest.

During the healing process, your physical therapist may incorporate a variety of treatments depending upon the extent and severity of the injury. The therapies are also beneficial for stimulating your immune system and improving circulation to the affected area that can help speed healing.

Your physical therapist will teach you how to stretch your arm and warm up properly before engaging in any activities. Ergonomic assessments and recommendations are available for ways to perform work and home tasks easier and more efficiently while you heal and to prevent re-injury.

Don’t suffer with the constant pain and restrictions of tennis elbow anymore. Call our office today. We’ll be your ticket to a speedy recovery.

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