When we think about the tennis elbow, we might think that it happens solely to tennis players. This is not the case. You can get tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis from repetitive backhand swings that strain the muscles and tendons of the elbow. Still, you can also experience tennis elbow from extended time using the mouse or keyboard, carrying bags, painting, or using tools around the house or garden.
When your tennis elbow lasts for more than six weeks, it is called sub-acute, and when it occurs for more than three months, it is called a chronic tennis elbow. If you want to find out more about tennis below, read below.
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow
When you feel pain and tenderness in your elbow that spreads into your forearms, you will likely experience tennis elbow. The pain may even extend to your hand. Another feeling associated with this condition is when the forearm muscles feel tight and sore.
It usually gets worse, especially when you bend your wrist backward, holds something with a stiff wrist, or turn your palm upwards. You may even experience pain whenever you open a bottle, hold a kettle, or turn stiff door handles. Other individuals experience stiffness and tenderness in the neck.
Common Causes of Tennis Elbow
For an acute tennis elbow, the common cause is damage to muscle tissue anchored to the arm bone at the elbow. This happens when you apply more force to the area than your normal tissue can handle. Other common causes for tennis elbow are the following:
- Tight muscles or weak forearm muscles
- Excessive wringing or gripping activities
- Poor tennis form
- Unaccustomed hand use (e.g. painting a fence, hammering, lots of typing)
Chronic tennis elbow can occur because of soft tissues that are in poor health. These are easily injured, which can lead to inflammation. Inflamed tissue leads to swelling and elbow pain.
Who Suffers from Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow often happens to tennis players—over 40% of them suffer from it, while 15% of other sufferers work in repetitive manual trades. It can happen to anyone. The general age of sufferers is between 35 and 50; it also happens to men and women in equal measure.
How Is Tennis Elbow Diagnosed?
Your physiotherapist or doctor can diagnose Tennis Elbow. They will look into your injury history and use some confirmatory clinical tests. In this way, they will determine a provisional diagnosis of tennis elbow.
Some of the clinical tests include x-rays and ultrasound scans. Ultrasound scans and MRI scans are the best tests to determine tendon tears or inflammation. X-rays are of little diagnostic benefit.
What if You Can’t Fix Your Tennis Elbow?
There is always the fear of never fixing your tennis elbow. However, patients are encouraged to rest to decrease pain and inflammation. They must stop physical activities that can aggravate it until their symptoms and swelling are under control.
If you continue to engage in strenuous activities, the pain will continue. It can even grow worse because the tendon will become weaker and tear. This will result in longer healing times and more difficult treatments.
Treatment of Tennis Elbow
Physiotherapy is helpful for the treatment of tennis elbow. It will help you in both the short and long-term management of the inflammation in your elbow and other parts. After a few sessions, you might see a reduction of elbow pain and greater comfort in your range of motion.
Physiotherapy is vital to your healing from tennis elbow. Activities that will aggravate the swelling should be avoided at all costs. Asking for help from a physiotherapist is needed to address this and many other conditions.
Are you looking for affordable physiotherapy in Bondi? Check Invigor Health. We offer many services to help treat our patients. Contact us today.