Also referred to as lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow is a condition led by the inflammation of the tendons in your elbow. The condition can be caused by frequent movements of the wrist and can happen to any individual who strains the forearm tendons. Although tennis elbow is common among tennis players, it is not limited to those that play the game. This article looks into five signs of tennis elbow that you should watch out for and how you can fix the condition.
Signs of Tennis Elbow
- Pain on the Outside of the Elbow
The main symptom to look out for is pain on the outside of your elbow, especially where the forearm meets the elbow. As aforementioned, repetitive motion of the arm causes the tendons in your elbow to develop small tears. These tears cause inflammation, leading to pain on the outside of the elbow. Over time, the ache experienced can develop into chronic pain. This outside part of your elbow may even become too painful to touch.
- Pain in Elbow when Lifting Objects
You might experience pain around your elbow when you try lifting heavy objects such as a bag, a piece of furniture, or even small devices like your phone.
- Pain when Performing Simple Actions
You may also find it painful to do basic actions like write, type on your computer, or turn a door handle. It might be hard for you to do anything that entails twisting or extending your forearm.
- Morning Stiffness on the Elbow
If you have tennis elbow, you may notice stiffness on your elbow immediately after you wake up.
- Tenderness and Soreness of the Forearm
Due to the pain it causes, tennis elbow has also been linked to tenderness and soreness of the forearm muscles. If you happen to experience such a symptom, then you should consider reaching out to your healthcare provider.
How to Fix Tennis Elbow
Numerous treatments options exist for tennis elbow. The treatment methods available can be used either at home or in a healthcare facility. The first thing you should consider doing when you have tennis elbow is to rest your arm. Taking a break from activities involving your arm helps the tendon tears to heal.
While resting, you can treat the tennis elbow with ice, soft tissue massages, and ultrasound therapy. Doing exercises such as wrist turn, wrist lift with weights, wrist extensor stretch, and wrist extensor flex, can help minimize any signs of tennis elbow.
Other Remedies for Tennis Elbow
- Physical Therapy
According to experts, individuals that engage in activities with extreme elbow movements should strengthen their arms and shoulders to help minimize cases of wrist extensors during arm and shoulder movements.
Supporting the affected area through taping or strapping can assist to realign muscle fibers and eliminate pressure. You can consider using a splint for about two weeks to take the elbow out of action.
- Steroid Injection
Another remedy for tennis elbow is steroid injection. This can be done when the pain is too much to bear.
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy
This form of treatment sends sound waves to your elbow, creating micro-trauma that encourages your body’s natural healing process.
If you do not find any positive results after six months of continuous natural, physical, and nonsurgical treatments, then your physician may recommend surgery as the best way to solve the condition. The surgery for tennis elbow usually entails removing the diseased muscle and reattaching it with a healthy one. Nevertheless, the surgery done on you will depend on factors such as the level of your injury, your personal needs, and overall health.
Tennis elbow can be referred to as an inflammation of the tendons, which join the outside of the elbow to the muscles of your forearm. The condition comes about because of too much use of the tendons and forearm muscles, especially those located around the elbow joint. Despite what its name suggests, the condition is not linked to the game of tennis. Anybody can develop tennis elbow due to repetitive muscle use. One major sign that you should look out for is chronic pain on the outside of the elbow. You can also experience pain when you try bending your arm or lifting heavy objects. Tennis elbow can be treated using natural exercises or by visiting a health practitioner. It is highly recommended to reach out to a professional healthcare provider to have the condition fixed in the right way.