Tennis Elbow

Overview of Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is a painful condition that develops due to weakness of tendons. Tendons are fibrous connective tissues that attach your muscles to the bones.

Tennis elbow also known as ٹینس کہنی/Tennis kohni, is a painful condition that develops due to weakness of tendons. Tendons are fibrous connective tissues that attach your muscles to the bones. Tennis elbow is also known as lateral epicondylitis. It occurs due to the repetitive movement of elbow muscles. A minor treatment is required for this injury. But healing takes time and requires proper rest. It is not only a common problem in athletes but it also affects people who constantly use elbow muscles such as plumbers, painters, carpenters and butchers.
The pain of the tennis elbow occurs where tendons join the muscles and bones. It can also spread to the forearm and wrist. Over-the-counter medications help to relieve the pain. If symptoms don’t go away, your doctor may recommend surgery.

 

Doctors Treating Tennis Elbow

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Signs and Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

The pain of the tennis elbow spreads from the outside of the elbow towards the forearm and wrist. Pain and weakness can interfere the daily routine activities such as:

  • Hold a coffee cup
  • Shake hands or grip an object
  • Turn a doorknob

 

Types of Tennis Elbow

 

 

Causes of Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow starts to develop due to overuse of elbow muscles. The repetitive motions cause tiny tears in the tendons that attach muscles to the bones. Common causes of tennis elbow are:

  • Use of plumbing tools
  • Use of the backhand stroke with poor technique
  • Cutting up cooking ingredients, particularly meat
  • Painting
  • Driving screws
  • Repetitive computer mouse use
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Risk Factors of Tennis Elbow

Some factors that increase your risks of tennis elbow are:

  • Age: Tennis elbow can affect people of all ages; however, it is most common in adults between the ages of 30 and 50.
  • Occupation: Occupation is another factor that increases the risk of tennis elbow. People who have jobs that involve repetitive motions of the wrist and arm are mostly affected by the tennis elbow.
  • Certain Sports: Some sports such as racket sports increase your chances of developing a tennis elbow due to poor stroke technique.

Tennis Elbow Complications

A few of the complications that are observed due to tennis elbow are:

  • Rupturing of the tendons with repeated steroid injections
  • Recurrence of the injury with overuse
  • Failure to treat with multiple operations or non-operative treatments.
  • Nerve impairment can also hinder the treatment.

 

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Prevention

  • You can strengthen your wrist and forearm muscles by proper exercise and stretching.
  • Avoid using the same hand and arm repetitively. Try to wear braces and take breaks during work or sports.
  • Before sports warm-up and stretch.
  • Avoid twisting your wrist during work.
  • Avoid sharp and jerky movements, instead follow smooth ones.
  • Use tools that have bigger grips. Try to wear gloves or paddings during work.
  • Use paddings while using a hammer to absorb shock.
  • Use your whole lower body to put power into your stroke, not just your arm.

 

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Diagnosis

Your doctor will diagnose tennis elbow in the following way:

  • Physical Examination: The doctor inquires about the symptoms and causes. During the exam, different parts of the arm are checked for pain. The arm, wrist or fingers are moved in different ways. In case of any other complications, the doctor may recommend other imaging tests.
  • Electromyography: Through this, damage to the nerves is detected. Nerve signaling ability is also determined. This test also checks the electrical activity of your muscles during motion and rest.
  • Imaging Tests: MRI and X-Ray can detect neck or back issues that could be the possible reason for your elbow pain.

Treatment of Tennis Elbow | When to Consult a Doctor

There are various treatment options available for tennis elbow. Here is how you can get your tennis elbow treated.

  1. Self-Care Tips

Through self-care tips, you can manage your pain, heal quickly, and try to avoid its reoccurrence.

  1. Rest Your Elbow

  • Tennis elbow occurs due to repetition and overuse of arm muscles. You can treat it by resting your elbow. 
  • If the injury occurs due to tennis or another racquet sport, you can avoid it by trying a different kind of sport. Try to play sports that are not tough or damage your muscles.
  • Properly use your shoulders and upper arm muscles to reduce the strain from the elbow.
  • Pain Relievers

  • The tennis elbow is painful. You can ease the pain in some ways such as:
  • OTC Pain Relievers: Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) can relieve your pain and reduce inflammation. But use them as per the doctor’s prescription. These are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs called NSAIDs.
  • Ice packs can also reduce pain and swelling: Put an ice pack on the affected area for about 15 minutes repeatedly for a day.

The tennis elbow often heals itself. But if OTC medicines and other self-care measures are not helpful, physical therapy is recommended. In severe cases of tennis elbow surgery is required.

  1. Physical Therapy for Tennis Elbow

  • If the symptoms are related to tennis, the doctor may recommend you to a physical therapist for evaluating the tennis techniques or arm movements. The physical therapist will provide you with the best ways to reduce stress on your injured tissue.
  • A physical therapist can teach exercises to increase the stretching ability and strength of your arm muscles. Eccentric exercises, in which the wrist is lowered slowly after raising it are specifically helpful. A forearm strap or brace is used to decrease stress on the injured tissues.
  1. Surgical or Other Procedures

  • Injections: Doctors mostly recommend platelet-rich plasma, botox, or any irritant (prolotherapy) into the painful tendon. Dry needling can also be used for the repairing of tendons. In this procedure, a needle is inserted into the damaged tendon.
  • Ultrasonic Tenotomy (TENEX procedure): In this procedure, a special needle is inserted into the injured tendon under ultrasound monitoring by a doctor. Through ultrasonic energy, the needle so swiftly vibrates to liquefy the damaged tissue. After that, the damaged tissues are suctioned out.
  • Surgery. If the symptoms of tennis are not improved after 6-12 months despite extensive non-operative treatment, you have to surgically remove the damaged tissues. Surgical procedures are performed through a large incision or by several small incisions. 
  • Rehabilitation Exercises: These exercises are important for a speedy recovery. Tennis elbow can also occur in non-tennis players. It happens due to the inflammation of the forearm tendons that join muscles and bones.

If you experience pain while grasping, moving, and lifting objects and other work-related problems you need to visit a physiotherapist or orthopedic surgeon