Also called lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow is a condition where tendons in the elbow are injured usually through repetitive motions of the wrist and arm. While most commonly associated with sports like tennis and golf, tennis elbow can be caused by a variety of other activities that involve repeated use of muscles around the elbow. Find out more about its causes, symptoms and treatment below.
The most common causes of tennis elbow are the following:
- Playing golf, tennis & other racquet sports
- Completing repetitive physical activities such as: carpentry, painting, gardening or plumbing
- Repetitive computer mouse use
- Cutting up food
Please note that every patient is different so symptoms can vary. You may experience a combination of the following or just one:
- Outside of your elbow & upper forearm is sore and tender to touch
- Weakness and stiffness in your forearm
- Pain with some movements (i.e.: turning a doorknob or shaking hands)
Tennis elbow is a condition that often persists if the contributing causes remain unchanged. Using pain relief medications and a cold pack can help. If the pain persists it’s a good idea to see a physiotherapist who may recommend the following treatments. They will also help you to understand which activities to modify to help your elbow heal.
A Brace or Strap
A brace or strap may be recommended to be worn on your forearm to reduce the stress on the area. This could be for a few weeks, or even a few months depending on the severity of your condition.
Surgery or Special Injections
In very rare cases where pain is severe and all other options have failed, surgery or injections may be recommended.
Tennis Elbow Exercise Program
- Fist clench exercises
- Towel twist
- Supination with a dumbbell
- Wrist extension exercises with a dumbbell
- Wrist flexion exercises with a dumbbell
Please Note – Always consult a health professional before starting an exercise program.
Just like with so many other conditions, your recovery is entirely dependent on the extent of your injury along with lifestyle factors, health and age. Some patients heal from tennis elbow in a few months and some will take a few months.
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