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All You Need to Know About Tennis Elbow

All You Need to Know About Tennis Elbow

Inflammation of the tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the outside of the elbow is known as tennis elbow. Overuse of the forearm muscles and tendons, as well as those surrounding the elbow joint, is a common cause of this condition. Lateral elbow discomfort or lateral epicondylitis, which is not necessarily connected to tennis, is sometimes known as "tennis elbow." Repetitive muscular usage is a common cause of tendonitis in tennis players. Tennis elbow affects half of all tennis players at some point in their careers.


Approximately 1 to 3 percent of the population in Canada is estimated to suffer from tennis elbow (Canada). Between the ages of 30 and 50, it is most common. A source that you can trust.



Fast facts on tennis elbow

  • Tennis elbow is caused by small tears in the tendons that join the forearm to the outside of the elbow.
  • 50 percent of tennis players will experience tennis elbow.
  • Overuse of the forearm with incorrect wrist action can lead to tennis elbow.
  • Physiotherapy, support devices, and steroid injections can be used to treat the condition.
  • Certain exercises that provide strength to the supportive muscles in the arm and shoulder, such as the Tyler Twist, can help symptoms.
  • Stretch carefully ahead of racquet sports to prevent tennis elbow.


Symptoms

Consistent discomfort on the outside of the forearm, right below the elbow's bend, is the most typical tennis elbow symptom. The wrist and the rest of the arm may also be affected.


Arm lifts and bends might cause pain in certain people. It may be felt when writing or holding little things, for example.

When the forearm is twisted, tennis elbow may result in discomfort. Turning a doorknob or fully extending one's arm might reveal this.

Causes

Tennis elbow develops as a result of repeatedly using the wrong arm motions. Small rips in the elbow tendon attachment might result as a result of this. Repeated swings of a tennis racquet with great power are what this refers to in the sport.


It is possible for a racquet's power to be dissipated via incorrect technique. Instead than using the elbow or shoulder, this method involves moving the wrist. The tendon might be irritated and inflamed as a result of this.


This tendon tear often causes extensor muscles to become inflamed. Wrist extension is accomplished by the use of the extensor muscles.


Tennis elbow is caused by over-extension of the wrist and fingers. In a racquet swing, for example, a person may "snap" or flick the wrist using this kind of action.



Other Causes

Any damage to this tendon that results from overuse is referred to as tennis elbow. Everyday activities, such as: playing tennis, might cause tennis elbow.

  • Using scissors
  • Cutting tough food
  • Gardening
  • Sporting activities that involve high amounts of throwing
  • Swimming
  • Manual work that involves repetitive turning or lifting of the wrist, such as plumbing, typing, or bricklaying.

Sometimes, there is no apparent cause.



Diagnosis

There is a simple at-home test to determine whether a person has tennis elbow.


Hands facing downward and elbows straightened, behind a chair, behind the back of the chair. Lift the chair if you can.


Tennis elbow is more than likely the source of discomfort on the outside of the elbow while doing this motion.


To rule out more serious problems such arthritis or an elbow joint damage, an X-ray or MRI scan may be required. The use of imaging, on the other hand, is quite infrequent in clinical practice. Before inquiring about the location or nature of the discomfort, the doctor will perform a series of tests on the arm.


Tennis elbow diagnosis is usually made with these facts in mind.


An MRI provides a more complete picture of the arm's soft tissues, muscles, and tendons than an X-ray does. If after a year of conservative therapy the discomfort in the outer elbow does not go away, surgery may be indicated.


In order to determine whether or not the nerves are squeezed, electromyography (EMG) may be employed.



Treatment Options

There are a variety of therapy options that may be employed at home or with the help of a doctor.


Rest: Resting the arm is essential. The tendon attachment tears might heal if you take a vacation from physical exercise. Tennis players use cold, anti-inflammatory medications, soft tissue massages, stretching exercises, and ultrasound treatment to treat more severe instances.


Physiotherapy: Physiotherapists can treat Tennis elbow (Lateral elbow tendinopathy) using different approaches including manual therapy, Shockwave therapy, modalities, and specific exercises.


Massage Therapy: These can also help the muscles to heal.


Sports Tape: Reducing pressure on the affected region and realigning the muscle fibers are two benefits of applying support to the area. A splint may be prescribed by a doctor to immobilize the elbow for a period of two to three weeks.


Other conservative treatments: Additionally, Botox injections and extracorporeal shock wave treatment are alternatives (ESWT).


ESWT uses sound waves to stimulate the healing process in the elbow. Other treatment possibilities include: heat therapy, low-level laser therapy, occupational therapy, and trigger point therapy, among others.


Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, which are made from the patient's own blood, are a novel treatment option. Proteins included in PRP help to promote healing. Although promising, this procedure is currently under evaluation by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS).


Surgery: This may be necessary if nonsurgical therapy fails to alleviate symptoms after six to twelve months due to injury to the tendon. Without surgery, between 80% and 95% of patients recover.


An arm or wrist splint may be necessary to protect the tendons from further injury. During sleep, it may be taken off. The ideal brace or splint might be recommended by a doctor or physiotherapist.



Exercises

Using weights or elastic bands for gradual strengthening workouts might be beneficial. Grip and forearm strength may be improved without any discomfort by using these devices.


Patients with tennis elbow have found success with many exercises in the Canadian Family Physician, which call for the use of dumbbells.


Exercise is essential to recovery from tennis elbow, both in terms of muscular strength and pain relief.


Stretching may help you ease into an exercise regimen, even if it is uncomfortable at first. Maintaining a regular routine of stretches and lifts is critical to preventing and treating tennis elbow. You should begin with lighter weights and work your way up until you can only lift 10 times.


Tennis elbow discomfort may be alleviated with this easy practise.


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Thera-Band Twist

Get your hands on a long, thin item that you can hold with both hands easily. Flexible items that nonetheless give resistance when twisted are preferred. A towel folded up tightly will do. When doing the Tyler Twist, it's common practice to make use of a fitness apparatus known as a FlexBar.


  1. Hold the object vertically in front of your chest.
  2. Grip the object with both hands, with your hands facing the same way. Both wrists should be fully extended, or bent back.
  3. Move the wrist affected with tennis elbow into flexion, or a bent-forward position, around the object.
  4. Keeping the wrist in flexion, rotate the object into a horizontal position, as if you were holding the handlebars of a bicycle. Hold your arms straight out in front of your body.
  5. Move the unaffected wrist into flexion, joining the affected wrist.
  6. Perform three sets of 15 repetitions a day until symptoms improve.

Shows how to do the necessary actions. However, it is important to take your time with these processes.



Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)

Prevention

Tennis elbow may be prevented by paying close attention to how you move when working out or exerting yourself.


Instead than focusing on tiny muscles in the wrist and elbow, concentrate on the bigger muscles in the shoulder and upper arm.


Before playing a sport that requires repeated arm motions, such as tennis or squash, warming up is critical. Injury may be avoided by gently extending the arm muscles.


Sports equipment with a bigger grip or lighter racquets can assist alleviate stress on the tendons. Damp tennis balls, as well as older, worn-out balls, put additional strain on the arm.


Tennis elbow may be prevented by strengthening the forearm muscles, which can be done by strengthening the arm itself.


In addition, a physical therapist may offer appropriate workouts to strengthen the muscles in question.


LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS (TENNIS ELBOW )