What Is Tennis Elbow?

Also commonly referred to as lateral epicondylitis by the medical community, tennis elbow is a condition that involves the outer part of a person’s elbow becoming sore and experiencing a tender sensation. The underlying medical issue involves inflammation of the tendons that bring together the muscles in a person’s forearm just on the outside of the elbow. Tennis elbow can be either acute or chronic in nature, depending on the situation.

How Tennis Elbow Occurs

Tennis elbow is usually something that develops slowly over time. Despite the prominence of the word “tennis” in the name, that particular sport is not the only way that a person might develop this condition. Other sports, such as racquetball, fencing, weightlifting and more, can all be contributing factors, as can any activity that requires repetitive arm movements on a regular basis.

The Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

If you’re concerned that you or a loved one may have or be in the process of developing tennis elbow, you should be on the lookout for the following signs and symptoms:

  • Experiencing elbow pain when trying to lift something.
  • Making a fist or gripping an object by the handle, like gripping a baseball bat, is generally painful and difficult.
  • You experience elbow pain when attempting to open a door or shake hands with a person that you’ve met.
  • Raising your hand, stretching out or straightening your wrist is generally an uncomfortable or painful experience.

Treatment of Tennis Elbow

Anyone who has ever, or is currently experiencing the painful effects of tennis elbow will no doubt be pleased to learn that it usually heals on its own without any type of invasive treatment being necessary. Generally giving your elbow a rest and refraining from the type of activity that caused the condition in the first place is a good way to help your body naturally recover.

You can also ice the elbow for 20 or 30 minutes four times a day until the pain is gone to help speed along your body’s recovery. Taking anti-inflammatory medication such as aspirin, performing various range-of-motion exercises and going to physical therapy are also successful ways to treat tennis elbow.

In the future, try using an elbow strap when performing motions that require your elbow to prevent further injury. Furthermore, contact us at Southeast Orthopedics to determine a plan of action for you and your injury today!

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