Tennis Elbow 101: Tennis Not Required
December 20, 2022
Forget everything the name “tennis elbow” implies. Because while the injury can be common amongst tennis players, it isn’t reserved just for them. For our scientific readers, the condition is also known as lateral epicondylitis.
Let’s Start at the Very Beginning
Because it’s a very good place to start
Your hand, forearm, and elbow are connected by tendons, ligaments, and muscles. All of these components work together to create movement in your lower arm. Tennis elbow occurs when the tendons that run up your forearm and connect to the bone on your elbow become overworked.
The overuse of these muscles and tendons in your forearm cause pain and discomfort, which can also spread to the wrist. It can even cause arm weakness, which makes everyday tasks difficult — this includes seemingly simple ones like holding a cup, turning a door know, or tightly gripping something.
It’s important to note that tennis elbow doesn’t happen overnight. As a repetitive use injury, it can occur for many reasons and in many different professions. The repetitive contraction of the affected muscles ultimately leads to small tears in the tendons that attach to the elbow.
While tennis elbow can actually be caused by playing tennis, especially for backhand swing lovers, other continuous, repetitive motions can cause tennis elbow. They include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Cutting ingredients
- Using a computer mouse
If any of these things are difficult for you or cause you a lot of discomfort, it may be time to make an appointment with a Beacon hand, wrist, and elbow specialist to get you on the road to recovery.
You Have Tennis Elbow, Now What?
Once you’re diagnosed with tennis elbow, there are many treatment options available to help ease the discomfort. If your case is mild to moderate, you might be able to resolve the issue with lifestyle adjustments, such as rest, over-the-counter pain medications, ice, and avoiding specific motions. However, if you have a more severe case of tennis elbow, more aggressive treatment options could be required. These would include:
- Physical therapy
- Minimally-invasive injections
Finding a Hand, Wrist, and Elbow Specialist
Sometimes tennis elbow goes away on its own with lifestyle modifications and rest. Our Beacon hand, wrist, and elbow specialists will take the time to listen to your symptoms and course the best individualized treatment plan for your unique needs. In most cases, non-surgical treatments and moderate physical therapy will be all that’s needed. If surgery is necessary, our experts are here to help you make a full recovery. For any of your hand needs, our Hand Center in Clifton is open and ready to assist you. Schedule an online appointment today.