Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can't. – Jerry Rice

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is a condition that causes swelling and pain in the outer elbow and arm. It is caused when the tendons in the elbow are overloaded, usually by repetitive motions of the arm, elbow and wrists. The pain occurs primarily where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the outside of the elbow and can also spread into the forearm and wrist.

Possible Causes: 

Tennis elbow, called lateral epicondylitis in medical terms, occurs when there is an injury to the outer elbow tendons due to repetitive motions of the wrist and arm. Tennis elbow causes are usually repetitive motions due to sports or occupational activities.

Risk Factors: 

Repetitive motions due to one’s occupation – people whose jobs involve the repetitive motions that can lead to tennis elbow are manual workers such as plumbers, painters, carpenters and butchers.

Signs & Symptoms: 

Typical tennis elbow symptoms are:

  • Pain on the outside of your elbow.
  • Pain that spreads towards outer forearm and wrist 
  • Difficulty in shaking hands. 
  • Trouble gripping or holding objects.

Diagnosis: 

If you notice symptoms that could be tennis elbow, visit the Medcare Sports Medicine Centre for a proper diagnosis. The doctor here will note down your detailed medical history and symptoms, and will conduct a physical examination to confirm a tennis elbow diagnosis.

If your doctor suspects that there may be some other reason for your symptoms, X-rays or other imaging tests may be recommended. Electromyography (EMG) can reveal nerve dysfunction, muscle dysfunction or problems with nerve-to-muscle signal transmission that can associate tennis elbow condition.

Treatment Options: 

Meet a sports medicine specialist at Medcare for the best tennis elbow treatment plan for you. Your treatment may cover the following:

  • Conservative treatments like rest and over-the-counter pain killers are recommended. Often tennis elbow gets better on its own. 
  • Doctors will evaluate the underlying cause of the condition first. So, if your tennis elbow is related to a sport then Medcare doctors will evaluate your technique and suggest steps to reduce stress on your injured tissues.
  • Physiotherapy can help stretch and strengthen your muscles. Learn the right tennis elbow stretches and exercises. To reduce the pressure on your injury, a forearm strap or tennis elbow brace may be used.
  • Some nonsurgical procedures may be recommended, such as dry needling, or ultrasonic therapy.
  • Surgery is the last resort to remove damaged tissue.
FAQs: الأسئلة الشائعة:
  • What is tennis elbow?

    A: Tennis elbow is a condition that causes pain in the area where your forearm meets your elbow. Using your arm in a repetitive motion like in tennis or excessive manual work cause small tears in the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) tendon leading to inflammation and pain.

  • How do I avoid getting a tennis elbow?

    A: Avoid physical exertion that aggravates your elbow pain. Take some over-the-counter pain relievers and apply a cold pack 3-4 times a day. Above all, ensure that you are following the correct technique when playing your favourite sport. Do adequate stretched and warm ups.

  • I’ve been told that I have tennis elbow, but I’ve never played tennis! I’m confused.

    A: Yes, this can happen and is common. The condition is called ‘tennis elbow’ because the muscle group involved is used extensively while playing tennis. But people who play other sports, or whose work involves repetitive arm, hand grip and wrist motions can also get tennis elbow.

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