Are you experiencing pain in the outside of your elbow? Well, it might be a symptom of tennis elbow. Are you unaware of this term? Don’t worry because the following article contains all details about tennis elbow and how one can treat it.
The scientific name of tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis. This pain usually starts as a result of overuse of arm muscles.
The first thing to examine in tennis elbow is the location of the pain. Many people misunderstand tennis elbow with golfer’s elbow. These terms are different. A golfer’s elbow causes pain inside your elbow, while a tennis elbow causes pain in the outside elbow. Tennis elbow can be because of damage or inflammation in the muscles. Let us explore its symptoms, causes, and treatment below.
- What Is The Best Treatment For Tennis Elbow?
What Is The Best Treatment For Tennis Elbow?
Before searching for the treatment for the disease, you must have enough knowledge about it. You must not think that only tennis players can have this disease. Many other sports activities can also result in the rise of tennis elbow. People 30 to 50 years old are at high risk of getting this disease because of the pressure on tendons. Tendons are a significant part of the skeletal structure because they connect the muscles to bones.
Now the question is, what are its symptoms? Well, the most common symptom of this disease is a pain in your elbow, but some other factors also play a prominent role in the symptoms of tennis elbow. The average duration of tennis elbow is around six months to two years. Some people recover quickly, while some take time due to complications.
Causes Of Tennis Elbow
As I stated earlier, the common cause of tennis elbow is the overuse of muscles and the pressure on tendons. Furthermore, some other activities can also cause this disease. Playing various sports games that use a lot of arm activity, such as badminton and squash, can cause this pain. Carrying heavy weight can also play a prominent role in the cause of tennis elbow.
In addition, using scissors, gardening, decorating, plumbing, repetitive writing or typing, sewing, and playing the violin can cause this disease. Last but not least, many people experience this disease because of weak or inflammatory muscles. That is why this disease does not only attack athletes. Other people may also be diagnosed with it.
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The main symptom of tennis elbow is a pain in your elbow. Moreover, some other activities can also indicate the disease of the tennis elbow. Some people experience pain when lifting something or bending their arms. In severe cases, some patients experience pain when grabbing or holding an item for some time. The pain does not stay in the elbow. Many people also feel pain in their hands and wrist. In short, this pain does not remain in the elbow but travels around the arm.
Although you might experience all the above symptoms, this pain is not necessarily due to tennis elbow. Therefore, you must diagnose the disease before taking any medications. Various types of tests in clinics and hospitals can diagnose tennis elbow. One of the common ways to diagnose this disease is by X-ray. The purpose of the X-ray of your elbow is to find if you have any bone problems because common bone diseases called arthritis also have the same symptoms as tennis elbow. If you are going through any bone disease, an X-ray will diagnose it.
Furthermore, magnetic resonance imaging, commonly called MRI, plays a significant role in diagnosing tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and arthritis. The physician examines the condition of your muscles and tendons to look for any inflammation in them. Moreover, it can also diagnose arthritis in the neck region, causing pain in the shoulders and arms. Last but not least, electromyography or EMG can diagnose nerve problems in your arm that might cause pain.
Although this disease lasts long, it has many treatments that can result in a speedy recovery. In addition, some surgical methods can also be effective in treating complicated cases. The following are a few effective treatments for tennis elbow.
Use Of Ice Packs
The easiest method to reduce the inflammation in your arm is icing it for a few minutes. You might know that icing is effective for treating various aches. It works the same for tennis elbow. Icing will reduce the pain and swelling in your arms. It is the best at the start of the disease because it prevents further pain and inflammation. Most doctors recommend icing your arm for around 20 to 30 minutes.
Another effective treatment for tennis elbow is to perform various exercises, and stretching is one of them. Many people use stretching to treat muscle problems. You might know stretching is an effective method to reduce muscle and joint aches and stiffness. Besides reading the pain and inflammation around the arm, it also straightens your tendon and tissues, making them strong.
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Avoid Intense Activities
As I mentioned earlier, various activities can cause tennis elbow. If you are an athlete and experiencing pain outside the elbow, I recommend you avoid playing sports for some time and give your arm a rest. Furthermore, activities like typing and writing for a long time can also cause this pain. Therefore, you must minimize typing and writing until you recover completely. Other activities like lifting heavy weights or plumbing should also be minimized.
Anti-inflammatory medicines are one of the easiest and most common treatments for tennis elbow. Though they might have side effects, they help in treating tennis elbow. The most common medicines are ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin. These medicines are helpful in many diseases, but they can negatively affect your body. Avoid overuse of these medicines. In short, if they don’t heal your pain, visit your doctor as soon as possible.
You might be aware that braces are effective in treating various arm problems. In the same way, they can also help in treating tennis elbow. If you do not experience any recovery with the above methods, you can use braces to cover your arm. Although they look like straps, they treat many joint and muscle problems. They can reduce the inflammation, swelling, and pain in the arm, but I recommend using them after consulting your physician.
Physical therapy is one of the most effective methods for treating tennis elbow. A physical therapist helps you perform various movements and stretchings that will relieve your pain and helps in a speedy recovery. A few sessions of therapy can heal your muscles and tendons. Physical therapy can also strengthen your muscles, improving your grip on different things.
It is the best treatment for tennis elbow of athletes because it results in a speedy recovery. Although steroid injections have many side effects, they result in fast recovery, which makes them suitable for tennis players or other sports players. The most common steroid injection for tennis elbow is corticosteroids because they help to heal joint and muscle inflammation. Many physicians conduct ultrasound tests before this injection to avoid inconvenience or health complications.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
Platelet-rich plasma therapy is also called PRP therapy. You must know that platelets are the small cells in the blood that heal injured areas of your body. In PRP therapy, the doctors take a small amount of your blood and concentrate your platelets. After the concentration, they install the concentrated platelets in the injured area by conducting an ultrasound. This procedure heals the tendons and muscles much more quickly.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy
The word extracorporeal means outside, and shock wave means high-energy sound waves. In this therapy, the doctors pass high-energy sound waves to the affected area through the skin. Many professionals use this therapy to treat tennis elbow because it has more benefits and fewer risks. Some doctors use ultrasound to avoid any risk factors.
It is one of the rare methods for treating tennis elbow. As I mentioned above, tennis elbow is not a fatal disease. Various home remedies and simple exercises can also cure it. Some severe conditions may result in the surgery. In this surgery, the doctors removed the damaged or affected part of the tendon from your forearm.
People aged between 30 to 50 years are at more risk of getting affected. Furthermore, various sports can put you at high risk of getting this disease. Last but not least, a weak immune system and muscles can give rise to tennis elbow and cause severe aches.
To prevent tennis elbow, you must keep muscles active and avoid overuse of tendons. The best thing to keep yourself energetic is to perform warm-ups and stretching exercises every morning. In addition, if you play sports, try using light equipment and avoid intense games. You should lift some weight to strengthen your muscles and joints but do not use heavy weights because they can lead to severe problems. Last but not least, you should avoid such activities that cause pain in your elbow, hands, or wrist.
When To Visit A Doctor?
If you face difficulty moving your arms, you should immediately visit your physician. Moreover, high inflammation and swelling in your arm might indicate a severe problem. Therefore, you should see a doctor instead of taking medications. In short, you must visit a doctor in case of severe aches and swelling.
Factors About Tennis Elbow
Though various factors are the signs of tennis elbow, the most common symptom is pain outside the elbow. You might experience inflammation in your elbow, hands, and wrist. It is a curable disease and has many treatments.
Ignoring tennis elbow can lead to severe health problems. If you do not treat it on time, this may lead to surgery. Therefore, you must take immediate action to treat it before it becomes dangerous for your health.
Massaging your tennis elbow can relieve much pain, but try to avoid applying more pressure on the muscles and tendons because they are already suffering, and exerting more pressure can cause severe problems. The best way is to visit a physical therapist to reduce the pain around your arm.
Though many people suffer from this disease, it is curable. Many methods play a prominent role in treating tennis elbow. You can use an ice pack, perform stretching exercises, or take medications. In case of severe pain, you must get injections and therapy to treat this inflammation.
Various factors play a prominent role in causing tennis elbow. Some of these causes include lifting heavy weights, overuse of muscles and tendons, writing and typing for a long time, and playing sports that apply more pressure on your arms, such as badminton.
The above article contains detailed information about tennis elbow, its causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention. This disease usually affects people aged between 30 to 50 years. Though it has many reasons, this disease is not fatal. The average duration of tennis elbow is around six months to two years. You can use different treatment methods to cure this inflammation around the arm. Moreover, you must avoid activities that cause pain in your hands and wrist. I hope these treatments will help to heal your muscles.