Tennis Elbow - Not Only a Tennis Injury
Did you know fewer than 5 percent of patients treating tennis elbow actually play tennis?
Tennis elbow is also known as lateral epicondylitis. In tennis players, it occurs when the player flexes their forearm muscles—which creates pressure on the lateral (outside) and medial (inside) portion of the elbow—throughout their swing. When they hit the ball, the flexed muscles and their tendons experience a great deal of force.
When impact swinging motions are repeated over and over again, the tendons can become irritated and inflamed, which causes swelling, stiffness, joint pain, and trouble moving the arm normally.
Surprisingly, repetitive overuse from regular activities like gym exercises or too many hours at the keyboard can cause tennis elbow, as well as other painful elbow conditions.
4 Tips for Treating Tennis Elbow
Whether you're anxious to get back out on the tennis court, golf course or in the gym, here are four tips to help in treating tennis elbow:
1. Address the underlying cause
If your tennis elbow pain is activity- or sports-specific, you may need to improve your technique or setup. Consult a personal trainer or have your computer workstation evaluated to ensure your technique is sound and your working environment is comfortable and safe. Just a few minor changes in how you move could do the trick!
2. Deep tissue massage to improve blood flow
Odds are that you developed this pain from overworking, so it’s safe to say that you deserve a massage! Deep tissue massage may break up scar tissue to facilitate healing for newly developed issues - within the first six weeks. If a massage parlor isn’t for you, a physical therapist can also perform this technique.
3. Home stretching exercises
Tennis elbow is the result of forearm muscles getting too tight and causing increased tension on the bony attachments of tendons. Simple stretches for loosening up your forearms can help when tennis elbow is in its early phase.
4. Topical Creams
Prescription-based anti-inflammatory creams have been shown to be effective in treating tennis elbow. Your pharmacist may even create a custom compound including lidocaine and gabapentin for nerve pain. Using a topical cream is a good way to avoid the side effects typically seen with oral medications.
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If a hand, wrist or elbow condition is effecting your quality of life, contact Dr. Donnelly's office today to learn more about your treatment options.
This site is not intended to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. Through this website and links to other websites, Brandon P. Donnelly, MD provides general information for educational purposes only. The content provided in this website and links, is not a substitute for medical care or treatment. You should not use this information in place of a consultation or the advice of your healthcare provider. Brandon P. Donnelly, MD is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this site.