What Is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a painful elbow caused by overuse and inflammation of the tendons. Usually, playing tennis or other racquet sports can caused this condition. However, there is also certain activities that also put you at risk. Repeated movement of the elbow can caused pain and tenderness on the outer elbow.
What Cause Tennis Elbow to Occur?
- Overuse injury
- Tennis elbow often due to damage forearm muscles such as extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) that help to stabilize the wrist when the elbow is straight. This commonly occur when playing tennis or racquet sports
- Repeated activity
- Many people participate in work or activities that require repetitive and vigorous use of the forearm muscles such as painters, plumbers and carpenters
- Mostly people at age 30 to 50 are prone to tennis elbow
- Tennis elbow can sometimes occur without any recognized repetitive injury. This is called “idiopathic” or unknown cause
What Are the Common Symptoms You May Experience?
Tennis elbow develop gradually in most cases, pain begins as mild and slowly worsen over weeks and months. Common symptoms are:
- Pain and burning on the outer side of the elbow
- Weak hand grip strength
- Sometimes pain at night
Usually, dominant hand tend to be affected, but also can happen on both hands.
What Are the Common Treatments Suitable for Tennis Elbow?
- Non-surgical treatment
- Rest your arm by reducing the participation in the activity or sports
- Medication such as ibuprofen can help to reduce the pain and swelling
- Physical therapy will teach you exercise to strengthened the involved muscles of the forearm. Your therapist may also perform ultrasound, ice massage, or muscle stimulating technique to promote healing on the muscles
- Brace can be use over the back of your forearm to help relieved symptoms by resting the muscles and tendons
- Steroid injection can be injected to your painful area to relieve the pain
- Platelet rich plasma (PRP) can improve and heal the tissue
- Equipment check. Have your doctor to check for your racquet use if you participate in racquet sports to check for proper fit
- Surgical treatment
- If your symptoms does not go away after 6 to 12 months of non-surgical treatment, your doctor may recommend surgery.