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Tennis Elbow - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Lateral epicondylitis or as it is commonly called tennis elbow is a condition by which the outer part of the elbow becomes tender and sore. It affects the part of the elbow known as lateral epicondyle. This happens because of repetitive overuse of the tendons and muscles of the forearm.

Tennis elbow leads to tenderness and pain on the site of the illness. Any activity, which also involves playing tennis that involves repetitive use of the extensor muscles of the forearm can cause chronic tendonitis at the lateral epicondyle of the elbow. This condition is also very common among laborers who swings hammer, and carpenters, which affects the medial epicondyle on the inside part of the elbow. Also sometimes known as lawn-tennis elbow and washer women’s elbow, continued activity after onset of the condition can lead excruciating pain which is only treatable via surgery. So mandatory rest is advised by doctors once you are diagnosed of this disease.

For people who are keen to know more about the non-invasive therapeutic treatments of tennis elbow, occupational therapy or physical therapy, which employ stretching-exercises, massage techniques, moist heat and ice pack therapy and use of low wave ultrasound can alleviate the pain factor of this disease. Sometimes anti-inflammatory medications are prescribed to the tennis elbow patients, if the disease has been diagnosed at an early stage. Doctors also prescribe the patients suffering from this disease to wear an elbow brace for four to six weeks.

Many patients suffering from tennis elbow have also found relief from this condition by undergoing acupuncture therapy. In general acupuncture therapy is done for two days a week for a period of one month. Medical practitioners even prescribe the use of corticosteroid injections for alleviating the pain when someone is suffering from this malady. For diagnosis of this disease, doctors performs a battery of tests, during which the physician places pressure on the affected area, while asking the patient to move the arm. X-ray is also done to at times to eliminate other causes of pain, such as fracture or arthritis.

However medical ultrasonography and MRI are the best diagnostic tools for determining this disease. Athletes who are affected with tennis elbow, should continue to work out in a smart and effective manner. Sport’s doctors often helps the athletes not only to be aware of their body, but also prescribe cross training adjustments to their exercise regime, to add diversity and avoid further injuries.

Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test sometimes required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks Non communicable
Pain in elbow or muscles Swelling in elbow or muscles

Popular Health Tips

What Is Tennis Elbow? How Can It Be Dealt With?

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics, Fellowship in Arthroscopy & Arthroplasty Shoulder & Knee
Orthopedist, Gurgaon
What Is Tennis Elbow? How Can It Be Dealt With?
You can be diagnosed with a tennis elbow even if you have never been on a tennis court! A tennis elbow refers to tendinitis or swelling of the tendons in the elbows and arms. Tough tissue bands that join the muscles of the arm to the bone are known as tendons. This affliction is one of the most common reasons for elbow pain and can affect men and women at any age. However, it is most commonly seen in patients who are around 40 years old. Tennis elbow develops gradually and is triggered by repetitive motions that strain the muscles or put too much pressure on the tendons such as sports that involve swinging a racquet, weight lifting or hobbies like carpentry, knitting, typing or painting. Most cases of tennis elbow resolve themselves with time as long as you rest the elbow and give your tendons a break. Some things you could do to speed up the healing process are: Soak the elbow in an ice bath for half an hour every 3 to 4 hours. This should help relieve the pain and reduce swelling. Use an elbow strap to support the arm and prevent further strain in the injured tendon. Exercising the arm to reduce stiffness and increase the possible range of motions. This will also make your tendons more flexible. However, exercises should be done only under a physiotherapist s guidance so as to prevent any further damage. Additionally, your doctor may also suggest physiotherapy, to strengthen and stretch the arm muscles. Over the counter, anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen or aspirin can also help reduce the pain and swelling. These drugs should not be used without a doctor s guidance as they can cause a number of side effects. In some cases, these side effects can slow down the healing process. Painkiller or steroid injections may also be prescribed to temporarily ease the pain and swelling around the elbow. In some cases of severe tennis elbow, these forms of treatment may not be effective and if you are still suffering from pain and swelling for over 4 months, you may need to consider surgery. Surgery for tennis elbow involves removing the damaged section of the tendon and repairing the remaining part. Recovery from a tennis elbow may seem slow but it is essential to be patient and avoid lifting weights or putting any strain on the arm during recovery. Once the swelling has completely gone down and you feel no pain or tenderness in the area, only then should begin using your arm normally.
4729 people found this helpful

Tennis Elbow - Tips To Help You Prevent It!

Dr. Nithin Kumar Bejjanki 89% (103 ratings)
Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS), Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS), MBBS, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE)
Orthopedist, Hyderabad
Tennis Elbow - Tips To Help You Prevent It!
Tennis elbow is a condition which is characterized by a sharp pain on the outer portion of the elbow. This condition is also called lateral epicondylitis and it occurs when the muscles of the elbow are overused. The symptoms of pain tend to occur near the forearm when you bend your elbow or try to grip an object. Causes The elbow joint comprises of muscles which facilitate movement of the wrist, elbows and the fingers. There are tendons present in the elbow which join the muscles and bones, thus regulating the forearm muscles. When the muscles of the elbow are overused, then it can lead to inflammation and tears in the muscles. This condition is so called as it is usually caused by playing certain sports, primarily tennis. It may also be caused by activities that put repetitive stress on the elbow. If the same pain occurs around the inner portion of the elbow, it is called a golfer s elbow . Prevention The best treatment method to prevent tennis elbow is to strengthen your elbow muscles. You need to follow a regulated strength and stretching program directed at strengthening the muscles of the body, including the elbows. Here are some tips to prevent tennis elbow: Try to stay in good shape physically. Use proper technique when you are carrying out any activity that involves the elbow. Avoid overstressing the elbow joint with repetitive movements as it can cause injury to the tendon. The muscles of the shoulder, arm and the upper back should be strengthened to prevent tennis elbow. For movements that require you to twist your arm or grasp things, you can use a counter force brace to protect your elbow. This brace is worn on the forearm which redistributes pressure on the muscle. A counter force brace is recommended for people who are at an increased risk of tennis elbow.
4530 people found this helpful

Tennis Elbow - Common Causes Behind It!

Dr. Akram Jawed 91% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics, Fellowship in Shoulder Surgery
Orthopedist, Gurgaon
Tennis Elbow - Common Causes Behind It!
Tennis elbow is a type of tendinitis. It is usually the swelling of certain ligaments. It causes pain in the elbow as well as the arm. These ligaments are bands of strong and stretchable tissues that connect the muscles of your lower arm to your elbow. In spite of its name, you can in any case get tennis elbow regardless of the possibility that you have never been close to a tennis court. This is merely a name for the condition and has little to do with the sport. It can affect anyone who indulges in a swinging motion. Any repetitive exercises that require a tight grip, particularly in cases where the thumb and the initial two fingers are used frequently, may cause tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is the most common reason for patients to see their doctors for elbow torment. It can occur in individuals of all ages; however, it is most common and normal at about the age of forty. This condition is usually caused when there are repeated contractions of the lower arm muscles that you use to raise your hand and wrist as well as to straighten it. The repetitive movements and pressure to the tissue may bring about a series of little tears in the ligaments that connect the lower arm muscles to the hard surface on the outside of the elbow. Tennis elbow ordinarily occurs after some time. Dull movements such as holding a racket during a swing can strain the muscles and put a lot of weight on the ligaments. That consistent pulling can cause a small amount of tears in the tissue. Tennis elbow may be caused because of the following reasons: Playing tennis Playing racquetball Playing squash Fencing Weight lifting or any other stressful exercises involving the muscles In tennis, the following moves can lead to tennis elbow: One-handed backstroke with a poor stance or lose hand A late forehand swing bringing a bend in the wrist altogether Snapping and turning the wrist while hitting with full power As the name suggests, playing tennis, particularly repeated use of the backhand stroke with poor strategy, is a conceivable reason for tennis elbow. However, a number of other basic arm movements can also cause tennis elbow. It can also affect individuals with particular occupations or while performing leisure activities that require heavy arm movements or gripping, for example, the following: Carpentry Excessive writing Painting Raking Weaving or knitting Utilising plumbing devices Driving screws Chopping cooking ingredients or vegetables, especially meat Repetitive computer mouse utilisation Lifting heavy materials or even grocery bags There are a number of ways to treat a tennis elbow. These include certain over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. If those do not work, seek the help of a specialist or physiotherapist. He or she can recommend you the right kind of medicines as well as exercises needed for the recovery.
4160 people found this helpful

Tennis Elbow - How To Prevent It?

Dr. Pushpendra Raj 88% (82 ratings)
Bachelors in physiotherapy, Masters in physiotherapy(musculoskeleton)
Physiotherapist, Jaipur
Tennis Elbow - How To Prevent It?
Tennis elbow is a condition, which is characterized by the inflammation of the tendons occurring in the elbow region due to excess use of the muscle groups present in the overarm. Tennis elbow can cause a lot of distress once it occurs so it is best to perform certain exercises to strengthen the muscle groups in your overarm so that muscle strain does not occur during your physical activities. Read on more to find about all the different ways to strengthen your muscle groups to prevent tennis elbow: Staying in good physical shape overall tones your body and strengthens your muscle groups, thus reducing the likelihood of tennis elbow. It is also important that the physical activities, which are performed by you are done using proper technique as otherwise undue strain might cause unnecessary discomfort and pain. You should try strengthening the muscles in your shoulder, arm and upper back to reduce the stress your elbow undergoes during physical activity. In a sports player in cricket or in tennis players, it occurs with repetitive stress on structures with continued faulty technique. So, in order to prevent tennis elbow specially in players, it is very important to know correctly gripping of a racket or cricket bat or playing a particular stroke. Using a counterforce brace for activities, which include twisting or grasping of the arm can also help. The use of a counterforce brace is to distribute the pressure throughout the arm, which reduces the stress on the elbow. The brace is highly recommended for people who are likely to develop tennis elbow. One should consult a doctor before opting for a counter brace. However, it is not a substitute for rehab exercises. If repeated arm movements or certain physical activities are causing discomfort or pain in the elbow region, check for alternative ways of performing the task. If you have taken up tennis, cricket or golf as a sport, it is highly recommended that you take proper lessons in technique as these sports involve twisting and grasping your arm, which can cause injuries if you do not follow proper techniques. Also keep in mind to choose sports equipments which are at par with your physical fitness, flexibility and strength. For daily activities, take a note of the activities, which involve putting stress on your elbows. In such instances follow techniques or different ways to perform the tasks, which will put minimum stress or pressure on your elbows. Also, Apart from strengthening the extensor muscle group, it is also important to stretch those muscles to offload the pressure developed during particular task. Hold extensor group for 30 sec at a time on a stretch, 10 repetitions twice a day will definitely prevent the person who involved in job which requires tight gripping, wrenching, shaking, wrist extension and a lot of writing.
2245 people found this helpful

Common FAQs on Tennis Elbow Treatment

Dr. Vivek A 90% (217 ratings)
MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Chennai
Common FAQs on Tennis Elbow Treatment
A Tennis elbow is a painful condition that affects the tendons due to a condition known as tendinitis, which causes inflammation. This condition will end up restricting the free movement of the elbow and the arm due to the pain and stiffness that it causes. This is due to the fact that these tendons are the tough band of connective tissues that hold the muscles and the lower arm with the bone. Repeated gripping motions and continued tugging as well as activities like weight lifting, tennis, squash and other like carpentry, painting writing and typing, can lead to this condition. Here are a few methods of treatment and the questions that revolve around them. Do I have to restrict my movements: Yes, when you have tennis elbow, the very first thing you must do is to give rest to the tendons by curbing those activities that have caused the condition or those which can aggravate the pain and stiffness. Lifting heavy objects, gripping things for prolong periods, other physical pursuits like tennis and other games and more will need to stop so that you do not stretch, strain or pull the tissue. Can I take pain killers: Yes, you can take pain killers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen in case the pain is unbearable? Always ensure that an orthopaedic specialist takes a look at your arm before prescribing the medicines to you. Is an ice compress good for this pain: You can use the RICE method for acute pain that is less than 72 hours old. For more persistent pain, you must see a doctor. The RICE method refers to Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. In this method, you can keep your arm elevated and give it rest. You can also use an ice compress and keep it tightly wound with an elastic bandage so as to avoid swelling. Can I take injections for this condition: Corticosteroid injections may be used for very severe cases. This contains the cortisol hormone and can give good results in the short run. Are there any non invasive methods for treatment: You can try non-invasive procedures like shock wave therapy which will help in fixing the pain and promote motion gradually. This procedure is usually conducted with the help of shock waves that are passed to the skin. Is exercising a complete no no: In this case, many orthopaedic surgeons and doctors will ask you to go through physiotherapy so that you can get used to movements and motion after prolonged pain. These exercises will also strengthen the muscles of the area. Talk to your doctor if the pain is particularly debilitating and discuss surgery for the same.
2637 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Doctor I am a female aged about 44, I have low back pain, tennis elbow, knew pain and I am feeling now a days very tired, what should I take, please suggest me.

Dr. Shreyas Bhalodia 93% (185 ratings)
MS Ayurved, Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Junagadh
Dear Lybrate User, As per your complains it may be due to Osteoarthritis OR Rheumatism OR Gout or Degenerative changes. For conformation of this you need to under go some investigations. Initially avoid yogurt, curt, excessive spicy & slaty foods, fast food & junk food, cold water/milk, cold drinks, avoid sprouted pulses like mung-chana etc. Don't sit directly at floor. Have hot fomentation on Joints & painful area, do small exercises of joints, Took proper sun bath, fruits & vegetables except all beans & pulses. U need ayurvedic panchkarma treatment. For more discussion consult me personally. Your tiredness may be due to deficiency of vitamins & trace elements OR as per your age it may be due to Menopausal syndrome of body due to faulty life style and dietary habits. As its summer stated you need plant of water to avoid dehydration. Please share your details like food habit, water intake, bowel habit, sleep pattern, job nature, stress in life etc.

I'm feeling tennis elbow pain around my right elbow and lower biceps while playing badminton. How to get rid of it completely?

Dr. Sapna Diwaker 89% (46 ratings)
MPT - Orthopedic Physiotherapy
Physiotherapist, Dehradun
Hi. First give rest to your elbow for few days as repeated use will increase your inflammation. Do ice massage 2 to 3 times daily for 8 to 10 mins. Use tennis elbow band or support. Visit physiotherapy center for Ultrasonic treatment. TC.
1 person found this helpful

Doctor I have a tennis elbow and I consulted a doctor he give me an elbow support band and it gives me relief but doctor can you tell me what should I do and what exercise should I do to cure the pain completely.

Dr. Sanyam Malhotra 92% (1487 ratings)
Physiotherapist, Delhi
1. Start with Physiotherapy treatment 2. Do hot fermentation twice a day 3. Apply volini cream before sleeping 4. Don't lift heavy things 5. Take calcium vitamin D 3 and Methylcobalmine supplement for one month minimum.

I am suffering from tennis elbow since three months I have taken so many medicine but pain is continue what should I do? I am using ice pack 10 minutes after that I use pain relief ointment also using tennis elbow band. But problem is continue definitely reduce pain but not permanently. Kindly suggest.

Dr. Pramod Reddy 88% (59 ratings)
Physiotherapist, Hyderabad
Do iceing for 10 min after that do some strengthening exercises for your extensors muscle of your forearm. And use tennis elbow brace which is suport your forearm muscle and minimise the pain .you will get this brace from online or medical store.

Health Quizzes

Tennis Elbow- How to deal with it?

Dr. Bharat Singh 84% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD-Medicine, DM - Clinical Immunology
Rheumatologist, Jaipur
Injections are effective in the treatment of tennis elbow. True or False. Take this quiz to know now!
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