Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition that occurs when tendons in your elbow are overloaded, usually by repetitive motions of the wrist and arm.
Can you still get tennis elbow without playing tennis?
Despite its name, tennis athletes aren't the only people who develop tennis elbow.
People whose jobs feature the types of motions that can lead to tennis elbow include plumbers, painters, carpenters and butchers.
The pain of tennis elbow occurs primarily where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to a bony bump on the outside of your elbow. Pain can also spread into your forearm and wrist.
Tennis elbow often gets better on its own. But if over-the-counter pain medications and other self-care measures aren't helping, physical therapy may help. Severe cases of tennis elbow may require surgery.
If your symptoms are related to tennis, physical therapists may be able to evaluate your tennis technique or the movements involved with your job tasks to determine the best steps to reduce stress on your injured tissue.
A physical therapist can teach you exercises to gradually stretch and strengthen your muscles, especially the muscles of your forearm.
Eccentric exercises, which involve lowering your wrist very slowly after raising it, are particularly helpful. A forearm strap or brace may reduce stress on the injured tissue.
Lifestyle and home remedies
- Rest. Avoid activities that aggravate your elbow pain.
- Pain relievers. Try over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Voltaren Gel (Generic name is Diclofenac gel) and apply it over the tender elbow to relieve pain
- Ice. Apply ice or a cold pack for 15 minutes three to four times a day.
- Technique. Make sure that you are using proper technique for your activities and avoiding repetitive wrist motions.
- Limit grip strength. Make sure to limit your hand grip strength as the harder you squeeze your hands, like grabbing on the steering wheel tightly, can cause more elbow pain.
- Stretch. Try stretching your wrist and hand by bending your hand down with your fingers pointing towards the ground, and gently stretch the muscles on top of your forearm.
Click here to watch video on tennis elbow and ways to treat the pain.
If you or a loved one is suffering from elbow pain, Dr. Javier Rios can work on finding the nonsurgical solution to get you back to life, work, and sports without elbow pain. Contact us