For those who don’t know, tennis elbow is an illness that causes pain on the part around the elbow. Clinically, it is called lateral epicondylitis. It sometimes happens after active overuse of the tendons and muscles of the forearm, around the elbow joint.
If you have tennis elbow, you might notice pain:
- Whenever you twist your forearm. For instance, opening a jar or turning a door handle.
- Whenever you grip tiny objects. For instance, a pencil or a spoon.
- Whenever you bend or lift your arm
- You might notice pain just below the bend of your elbow, on the outside of your upper forearm.
- In addition to that, you might find it hard to completely extend your arm.
The elbow joint is enclosed by muscles that move your fingers, wrist, and elbow. The tendons in the elbow connect the muscles and bones together. Also, it controls your forearm’s muscles.
Typically, tennis elbow is caused by strenuous use of the muscles connected to your elbow. This muscle is utilized to straighten your wrist. Inflammation and small tears can develop around the bony lump on the outside of your elbow if the tendons and muscles are strained.
Oftentimes, tennis elbow is caused by playing tennis, as the name implies. But, it’s sometimes caused by other activities that put constant stress on the elbow joint. This includes playing the violin or decorating.
Ways to Prevent Tennis Elbow
Sometimes, it is hard to avoid getting tennis elbow. But, you could prevent the symptoms from getting worse or completely avoid the illness by not placing the strain on your elbow’s tendons.
It can be a huge help in preventing tennis elbow if you work out to strengthen and stretch your forearm muscles and wrist. In addition to that, there are a lot of things you can do throughout your day to lessen strain on your arms.
One general tip is that you should stop making the same arm and hand movements constantly. Wearing a brace like the POWERLIX Elbow Brace would be very helpful if you’ve got no other option. You should also take a break as much as possible.
Here are several ways that you could follow to avoid tennis elbow:
- You can help prevent tennis elbow if you improve the strength of the muscles around your forearm. A physiotherapist can talk to you about workouts that will develop your forearm muscles.
- Whenever you’re using your arm, you should wear a tennis elbow splint but be sure to remove it while you’re sleeping or resting. This will help avoid additional injury to your tendons. You can also consult your physiotherapist or GP for suggestions about the perfect type of splint or brace to use.
- To help you avoid putting excess strain on your tendons, you should utilize lightweight racquets or tools and enlarge the size of their grip.
- To help avoid injury, you should do a proper warm-up and stretch gently your arm muscles before you do an activity that involves repetitive arm movements.
- It might help you prevent getting tennis elbow if you get several coaching advice that can help improve your technique. This is particularly true if you love playing a sport that involves repetitive movements.
- Do not use your elbow and wrist more than the rest of your arm. You should distribute the load to the bigger muscles of your upper arm and shoulder.
- Avoid doing the activity that’s causing pain if you’ve got tennis elbow. Also, you can look for another way of doing it. Make sure that it doesn’t put stress on your tendons.
- To take the strain off your elbow, you should learn to use your upper arm muscles and shoulder. Make sure you do a warm-up before doing any activities.
- Do not straighten or bend your arm all the way. You should stick to the middle of your range of motion. A flexbar would be helpful in extending your flexibility.
Tennis elbow, for those who don’t know, is a self-limiting illness. This means that, eventually, it will get better without treating it.
But, it can sometimes last for several months or weeks since tendons slowly heal. In several occasions, tennis elbow can last for more than 1 year.
There are several easy treatments that can help relieve the pain caused by tennis elbow. Resting your injured arm and avoid doing the activity that caused the issue if the most crucial thing you can do.
You can also ease the pain if you hold a cold compress against your elbow for several minutes several times a day. You can use a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel or ice pack brace.
Typically, invasive treatments will be considered only in persistent and severe cases of tennis elbow. A physiotherapist will recommend surgery if non-invasive methods haven’t been successful.
- Stop or Modify Activities
You must stop doing activities that strain affected tendons and muscles if you’ve got tennis elbow. That is why you might have to avoid activities, such as lifting, until the pain in your arm is gone if you utilize your arms at work to do manual tasks.
However, you might be able to change that way you do these kinds of moves in order for them to not put a strain on your arm.
Talk to your boss about changing or avoiding activities that can make the pain worse and aggravate your arm.
- NSAIDs and Painkillers
You can ease inflammation and mild pain caused by tennis elbow if you take NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and painkillers.
NSAIDs are also available as gels and creams. You can directly apply it to the affected part of your body, such as your forearm and elbow. The best example for this is the Penetrex Pain Relief Therapy.
Instead of the anti-inflammatory tablets, the gel and cream type are sometimes recommended for tennis elbow. The reason for this is that they can lower pain and inflammation without causing side effects, such as diarrhea and nausea.
Several NSAIDs are available without a prescription. This means you can purchase it over the counter. On the other hand, some are only available on prescription. Your pharmacist or GP will be able to suggest an ideal NSAID.
If your tennis elbow is causing more persistent or severe pain, your GP might refer you to a physiotherapist. They are healthcare experts who utilize various techniques to restore movements to affected areas of your body.
Your physiotherapist might utilize manual therapy methods. This includes manipulation and massage. This will help relieve stiffness and pain and promote blood circulation to your arm. In addition to that, they can show you workouts that you can do to strengthen your forearm muscles and keep your arm mobile.
- Shockwave Therapy
This is a non-invasive treatment. In a shockwave therapy, high-energy shockwaves are sent through the skin to promote movement and help relieve pain in the affected area.
The number of sessions you will need will vary on the severity of your pain. During the procedure, you might have a local anesthetic to lower any discomfort or pain. If you prefer this type of therapy, a reliable TENS Unit would be beneficial.