Repetitive wrist movements often lead to inflammation and swelling of the tendons connecting the forearm muscles to the elbow. It results in pain and soreness in the elbow that could spread to the arm and wrist. This condition is called Tennis Elbow, medically known as lateral epicondylitis.
The name ‘Tennis Elbow’ does not mean that the condition is limited to tennis players only. It can happen with anyone who overuses or overloads the arm or the wrist.
Persistent pain and ache are the first signs of the condition, especially nocturnal pain. The outer bony bump of the elbow feels tender. There could be morning stiffness and soreness in the forearm muscles. The pain may extend beyond the bony knob. It can radiate outwards to hurt the arms and the wrist. As a result, the grip of the wrist could be weakened. People with this condition are likely to feel the pain more intensely while gripping, lifting, raising the arm, or straightening the wrist.
Similarly, there could be a pain in the outer elbow while turning the doorknob, holding a glass, turning the key, or shaking hands. These are all signs of lateral epicondylitis and require immediate attention. Patients need to visit a certified clinic at the earliest for treatment.
Certain factors put patients at greater risk. These are:
The primary cause behind the condition is repetitive movements causing the forearm muscles to contract. The overuse and continuous tugging and twisting motion of the arm leave the tendons and the muscles stressed. This is why people who play tennis, squash, or fencing are prone to develop this disease.
The other cause of lateral epicondylitis is when the arm hits directly against a hard surface, like a concrete wall.
Tennis Elbow can heal effectively. Patients need to give rest to the elbow. Some of the treatments advised by the doctor include:
The recovery process may be slow or fast depending on the patient’s healing rate and the damage. In most cases, patients recover completely after about twelve months of conservative treatment. It is best to let the affected area heal completely before using it like before.
Since lateral epicondylitis is a condition that occurs due to overuse, it is important to give the elbow rest when in pain. Patients are also advised to do the below tasks:
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