What is Tennis Elbow
It’s a painful condition on forearm muscles/tendons due to overuse injury. This pain termed Medically as Lateral Epicondylitis and generally called Tennis Elbow. It occurs when the muscles and tendons in the forearm muscles attach to a bony bump on the outside of your elbow are strained due to a repetitive or strenuous activity of wrist or forearm. Tennis elbow can also sometimes occur after banging or knocking your elbow. Pain can also spread into your forearm and wrist.
- Tenderness and soreness on the outside of the elbow.
- Slowly increasing pain around the outside of the elbow.
- Increasing pain when gripping or squeezing an object such as hold a coffee cup
- Pain when opening jars, lifting or handling small utensils.
- Morning stiffness of the elbow with persistent aching.
- Shake hands or grip an object
- Turn a doorknob
Why Tennis Elbow occurs
Tennis elbow affects up to 3% of people, mostly between the ages of 30 and 50. Activity that strains the muscles around elbow over and over again can cause tennis elbow. Playing in Tennis, hitting a backhand puts some stress on forearm muscles when clinch or hit the ball. If technique is off or grips the racket too tightly, it puts more stress on the tendons that connect forearm muscles to elbow. That can cause the tendons to get small tears. Anyone can have tennis elbow from playing other racket sports, such as squash or racquetball. Besides, Some Occupational work pattern that involves repetitive arm motion, such as:
- Typewriter or excessive use of a keyboard.
- Cutting down trees with a chain saw.
- Painting Carpentry.
- Playing some types of musical instruments
- Kitchen work, such as cutting with a knife
- Working on cars
- Working on an assembly line
- A direct blow to your elbow can also make the tendons swell.
How to know by oneself with Primary Physical condition
Painful on outer side of elbow just edge of forearm while lift a coffee mug or grip door knob. One can find some knot or tip pain on lateral side of tendon.
When flex your wrist by keeping elbow on table (straight position) for 1 minute. If it feels tingling or numb, tennis elbow sign is positive.
Moreover, General Practitioner or Physical Therapist or Orthopedic Physician can undergo various Physical Test and lab plus Imaging test to confirm Tennis Elbow.
- Conservative or Non-Surgical
Conservative management is very much common and popular for in general. Conservative management includes Invasive and non-invasive procedures. Drugs like Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin, is helpful to ease pain and swelling. However, these drugs can cause side effects, such as bleeding and ulcers. You should only use them occasionally, unless your doctor says otherwise, since they may delay healing.
Invasive procedure is corticoid steroid injection on joint surface which popularly called Intra-articular injection mainly given by the Orthopedic Physician.
Surgical management is quite rare and it is mainly required for the professional athletes who need to overuse these muscles again and again for their occupation purpose.
1. Conservative treatment
Physical Therapy is the one of the best treatment option in non surgical medical management. Various treatment options are given below :
Put ice bag on painful side for 10 to 15 minutes 4 times daily for two weeks. Sometimes, when this pain become chronic that is more than 2 months , contrast method like cold and heat alternatively given can bring excellent result specially older age people as Osteo-arthritis interfere with this medical condition.
This is a device as like as Ultrasonography test but basic difference is that it has its own unique machine parameter to heal the inflamed muscle or tendon or ligament of particular region of joint structure. Usually, 10 to 15 minutes required per therapy session or directed by Physical Therapist.
Its very special type of elastic strap made by polyvinyl plastic which is stretchable up to some extent and glued sticker. Your Therapist will provide it to support your daily light work without paining. It is very popular and effective method specially for the sports activity such as Long Tennis, cricket, Badminton,etc .
Different types of brace is available to the market as per prescribed by your therapist or physician. Elastic strap type of brace is more convenient in such condition in respect of sports personnel or general people. It really eases your pain and supports your muscular part to act without less pain in daily activities.
Muscle Stretching and Strengthening exercises.
A self stretching exercise of wrist and forearm muscles is extremely important in this condition. Your Physical Therapist is the right professional to prescribe it correctly by pin point assessment of your muscular property of that region.
It’s an invasive procedure done by mostly physical therapist or acupuncture specialist. It’s a needle of different size, insert to motor point or Accu point of the body.
Surgery is performed by the Orthopedic Surgeon to this condition. Tendon replacement or osteotomy is done to cure the eliminate the condition. Post Rehabilitation is required where carefully assess the post-surgical condition and prescribe the exercise protocol by the Physical Therapist.
Lastly, it’s a medical condition which is really awful and severely hampered daily living task or professional work. So Self-Awareness and early referral to the right medical professional is the key to get solve this root problem.