Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition that occurs when there is a problem with the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the outside of the elbow. If these tendons become inflamed it can lead to pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow. These are the tendons and muscles responsible for the function cocking the wrist back.
Causes & Symptoms of Tennis Elbow
The most common cause of tennis elbow is repetitive motion. The condition is most common in those performing repetitive manual labor using the arms and hands, or in sports enthusiast, particularly tennis and other racquet sports players. Tennis elbow is often a result of microscopic tears in the tendon that never completely heal.
The most common symptom of tennis elbow is pain, including pain on the outside of the elbow, when lifting objects or when cocking back the wrist. This pain often radiates down the forearm. It may come on gradually or suddenly, typically between the ages of 35 and 65, and it affects both men and women equally, most often in the dominant arm.
Tennis Elbow Treatment
Tennis elbow is usually treated with conservative methods that include one or more of the following:
- Resting from the activity causing the condition
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation
- Applying cold packs
- Physical therapy
- A forearm brace
- Tennis elbow surgery
Most tendon damage can be repaired when diagnosed early, so it is important to seek thorough medical treatment in order to prevent further damage.
Preventing Tennis Elbow
The best way to prevent tennis elbow is to engage in stretching and strengthening exercises for the hand and forearm. Make sure to warm up adequately before playing racquet sports and insure that your equipment is properly fitted for your size, ability and body strength.
Tennis Elbow Surgery
Typically non-surgical treatment is recommended for tennis elbow, but severe cases may require surgery. Tennis elbow surgery involves removing damages tissue and reattaching healthy tissue back to the bone. The procedure may be performed as an open surgery or as arthroscopic surgery. It is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, rarely requiring an overnight hospital stay.
If you are suffering from elbow pain, contact Dr. Rehman for a comprehensive evaluation and consultation. As with most medical conditions, early detection, awareness and a comprehensive treatment plan is the most effective way to combat the effects of conditions like tennis elbow.
Macomb County Tennis Elbow Doctor: 586.532.0803