Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow

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Description Of The Injury: Although common in racquet based sports such as tennis, Tennis elbow can occur with any repetitive activity that involves either constant impact motions with the elbow or heavy lifting. Also referred to as lateral epicondylitis, Tennis elbow is sometimes mistaken as a condition that involves inflammation while anti-inflammatory drugs have shown to be effective. Tennis elbow is characterized by pain or irritation in the outer portion of the elbow that causes any lifting or wrist extension movement to be painful.

Injury Symptoms: Symptoms of Tennis elbow include soreness in the elbow that may be constant or present only when lifting objects upwards or straightening the elbow. The elbow may be particularly stiff in the morning. Pain is typically most severe when extensions of the wrist are performed such as pouring liquid from a pitcher or making fists.

Additional Information

Home Treatments: Home treatment is usually most successful when constant mild heat or ice is used, especially alternating between the two, in 10-15 minute sessions. Rest is the most important aspect of home recovery from Tennis elbow and the activity that caused the initial pain should be avoided. An anti-inflammatory drug such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen or Aspirin can be used to reduce pain.

Professional Medical Treatments : Surgery is sometimes required in extreme cases of Tennis elbow to remove offending tissue and encourage the production of new, healthy tissue. Acupuncture is sometimes used in combination with electrical stimulation. In cases of severe or recurring pain, cortisone can be injected directly into the elbow in conjunction with a numbing drug to eliminate pain while the healing process is underway.

Physical Therapy And Exercises: Progressive strength training or weight bands are sometimes used during physical therapy to gradually strengthen the elbow to handle more weight. Simple physical therapy techniques such as massage or gentle stretching are often very effective in encouraging blood flow to the affected area to expedite healthy tissue growth. In some extreme physical therapy situations, the elbow may need to remain in a cast for several weeks during recovery.

Exercise Techniques To Prevent Injury: The first step in the prevention of Tennis elbow is muscular strength training to strengthen the muscles in the shoulders and abdomen. This training prevents the trainer from overusing their elbow when performing repetitive motions involving the arm. Proper stretching before physical activity can prevent Tennis elbow. Some people that suffer frequent or recurring tennis elbow invest in racquets that are specially designed to soften the impact of a ball as it hits the racquet.

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