Tennis Elbow – What it is and How to Treat It
Lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, is a common problem among many tennis players. It occurs when an elbow is forced into too much stress. This can occur as a result of playing tennis. It can cause inflammation of the elbow and slight tendon tears in the elbow. While it can be tough, tennis elbow can be treated.
There are some symptoms of tennis elbow to watch for. They include tenderness around the inflamed part of the elbow and acute pains that occur during stresses in the elbow. While the pain of tennis elbow can be light at first, it can occur suddenly.
Other symptoms include difficulty with holding and squeezing things and stiffness in the forearm muscles. Soreness and stiffness in the elbow and point softness around the medial and lateral elbow muscles are also common symptoms of tennis elbow.
In some cases tennis elbow can be caused as a result of the degeneration of nerves in the elbow. This can occur from repeated use, but old age can cause it too. Poor blood circulation in the area can cause tennis elbow too. This means that important nutrients for healing like oxygen are not present in the area. The tendons will deteriorate as a result and tear up in small areas.
Most people who get tennis elbow are over the age of thirty five. Also, both men and women are equally likely to get tennis elbow from repeated elbow use. Blue collar workers who work in construction and other manual labor professions can get tennis elbow, and athletes like tennis players and golfers can get tennis elbow. In fact, about a third of all tennis players are likely to get tennis elbow during their careers.
Tennis elbow can be cured by avoiding stress and resting the elbow. Immobilization is needed in more severe cases of tennis elbow. Anti-inflammation drugs like cortisone can be used as well. However, if cortisone shots do not work after a few shots then they should no longer can used.
Operations are not needed for tennis elbow, but a change of physical lifestyles is needed to prevent tennis elbow from occurring again. Anti-inflammation drugs can help, but changes in equipment for tennis can be used too.
For tennis players recovering from tennis elbow changes are needed. Playing on softer courts can reduce the likeliness of tennis elbow recurrence. Also, an analysis of tennis strokes should be used to see if any changes in how the person hits the ball are needed. Tennis elbow braces can also help, as they can reduce pain in the elbow and help reduce the pull on certain muscles and tendons.
Simple elbow exercises can be useful as well. However, the exercises should not cause any pain and should not be used if any additional pain occurs. The tendons need to be toughened in these exercises.
Tennis elbow can be difficult and it can happen to people who don’t play tennis. However, tennis elbow can be easily handled and treated, and with the right treatments it doesn’t have to come back.