The painful condition lateral epicondylitis is better known as tennis elbow. The term describes the outcome of constantly moving the arm and wrist in the same way.
Tendons from forearm muscles that attach to the humerus, a bony bit outside the elbow, are eventually overloaded. The funny bone is in the same region.
If you’ve ever hit it, you’re aware of the agony that can be felt in this sensitive area. Pain may affect the wrist and forearm in addition to the elbow area. Repetitious moves in other hobbies and careers, including painters and violinists, bring about the same result. Tennis elbow is not just for tennis players.
A reduction of grip strength is one way people notice they may be suffering from tennis elbow. Everyday actions like lifting a cup of coffee or shaking hands with a friend may suddenly become a challenge.
Racquetball and squash are two forms of sport that join tennis as the factor that causes tennis elbow in approximately half of the people diagnosed with the condition.
Dentists and gardeners are also candidates because of repeated contraction of forearm muscles against resistance.
Small tears in the tendons are a result of overworked muscles, such as the impact caused by a poorly executed backhand shot in tennis.
The acute injury causes inflammation and pain, leading the body to repair the damage. It results in scar tissue. The person usually continues the activity causing the damage instead of giving the area time to heal. The tissue remains distressed and painful.
When occupational and recreational methods result in tennis elbow, are there ways to help restore function, reduce pain, and prevent further injury? Certainly.
Limit daily activities that create arm pain and stress. Stop the movement if it hurts. Remember that healing may take several weeks. Don’t reinjure the area by returning to the damaging activity too soon.
Ice the area. Don’t place it directly on the skin, as it may cause burns. A flexible package of frozen vegetables substitutes for ice when there is none in the freezer. Place a washcloth or dishtowel over your arm and put the bag across it for 15 minutes.
Get a Professional Opinion.
Once the cause is identified, your therapist will go over treatment options to restore your range of motion. Sports massage and specific exercises are common methods of treatment. Light therapy may be started once inflammation declines. The simple restorative exercises you start with will change as you heal.
Each person is a vital part of his or her own recovery. More is not better in rehab therapy. Discuss progress and concerns with the therapist and maintain the program for optimum effects.