Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a painful medical condition characterized by an inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow. The forearm muscles and tendons become damaged from overuse due to repeated motion, which leads to pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow.

Causes of Tennis Elbow

Overuse of the forearm muscles which may occur due to various activities such as playing tennis, plumbing, painting, driving screws, repetitive use of computer mouse, cutting up cooking ingredients especially meat.

Risk factors of Tennis Elbow –

  • Age – People between the age group of 30 – 50 are at greater risk of developing the condition.
  • Occupation – People having jobs that involve continuous and repetitive motions of the wrist are more likely to develop this condition.
  • Certain sports – Playing racket sports such as badminton and tennis may increase the risk of developing the condition.

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

The symptoms of this condition develop slowly and in most case, the pain begins as mild discomfort and worsens slowly over weeks and months.

  • Pain radiating from the outside of the elbow to the forearm and wrist.
  • Patients may find it difficult to
    • Shake hands or grip an object
    • Turn a door knob
    • Hold a coffee cup

Diagnosis and Treatment of Tennis Elbow–

The doctor will begin by carrying out a physical examination and inspect if there is any swelling or tenderness in the affected area. The doctor may also talk about the activities that may have led to the occurrence of the condition. During the physical examination, the doctor may ask the patient to straighten the wrist.

To ascertain the condition, the doctor may also ask the patient to undergo certain diagnostic tests such as X-Rays, MRI scans, Electromyography (EMG), etc.

The treatment for the condition can be both non-surgical as well as surgical.

Non-surgical Treatment

The first step towards the recovery is to give the arm proper rest. This means that the patients have to stop participating in sports or heavy work activities for several weeks. Drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin may be prescribed to alleviate sports or heavy work activities for several weeks. The patient may also be asked to undergo physical therapy sessions to help in strengthening the muscles. Some of the other therapies that may be used to alleviate pain may include extracorporeal shock wave therapy, ice massage or muscle-stimulating techniques.

Surgical Treatment

If patients do not feel relieved by non-surgical treatment within 6 – 12 months, surgery may be recommended. The surgical process may include the removal of the diseased muscle and reattaching the healthy muscle to the bone.

Lifestyle and home remedies

For fast recovery of the patient, the doctor may recommend certain self-care measures such as –

Applying ice – The patient may be asked to apply ice or a cold pack for 15 minutes three to four times a day. This helps to improve the flow of blood to the affected area and speed up the healing process.

Pain relievers – The patient may be asked to consume pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen to alleviate the discomfort.

Rest – Patients may be asked to rest and do not involve in activities that may aggravate the pain.

Technique – The patients may be explained certain techniques to ensure that the condition does not worsen.

Some facts about Tennis Elbow

  • 50 percent of tennis players experience this condition.
  • Tennis elbow is caused due to overuse of forearm muscles with incorrect wrist action.
  • Exercises like Tyler twist can help provide strength to the arm muscles.
  • Stretching carefully ahead of racquet sports can help to prevent Tennis Elbow.

Conditions such as Tennis Elbow need proper diagnosis and treatment. If you are looking for a hospital that has a team of best orthopedic doctors, consider visiting BLK hospital. You can book BLK Hospital Delhi Appointment and consult with the best doctors in the city.

You can book a doctor appointment online at docprim