Tennis elbow is a condition that causes pain around the outside of the elbow, but doesn’t just affect tennis players. It’s clinically known as lateral epicondylitis, and often occurs as a result of strenuous, repetitive overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm. Tennis elbow is a common condition- It’s estimated that as many as one in three people have tennis elbow at any given time!
Stress and repetitive strain of the muscles and tendons can cause tiny micro-tears to develop around the site where these structures attach on to the elbow (the lateral epicondyle). This leads to pain, swelling, and inflammation.
Your pain may get worse when you:
- grip something, for example holding a pen or shaking someone’s hand
- twist your forearm, for example turning a door handle
- use your keyboard or mouse
- fully lengthen (extend) or bend your arm
Did you know? Most mild cases of tennis elbow are self-limiting, meaning they will gradually get better with rest and self-help treatments. However, if your symptoms don’t improve after a couple of weeks, it is worth seeing a healthcare professional.
Professional treatment generally focusses on reducing your pain and symptoms, and helping to speed your recovery. Massage and manipulation of the joints around the elbow can help reduce pain and stiffness, and improve the range of motion in the joint.
Self-Help Top Tips:
- Use a cold compress (such as an ice pack or frozen peas) and apply this over the painful elbow regularly to help soothe and settle the inflammation and ease your pain.
- Painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as paracetamol and ibuprofen) may help reduce pain and inflammation.
- If your tennis elbow is caused by an activity that involves placing repeated strain on your elbow joint, such as tennis, changing your technique may alleviate the problem.
- Follow this link to see some exercises which may be helpful.
Any questions, queries or comments, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
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