Tennis elbow is characterized by pain or discomfort around the exterior part of the elbow. The condition often arises after engaging in taxing overuse of the tendons and muscles of the forearm close to the elbow joint.
Generally, there is pain or discomfort:
- On the exterior part of the upper forearm, beneath the bend of the elbow
- When grasping small-sized objects
- When raising or bending the arm
- When rotating the forearm particularly when turning the door handle or unsealing a jar
In addition, there is difficulty in fully extending the arm.
What are the causes?
The elbow is bordered by muscles that move the wrist, elbows and fingers. The tendons in the elbow link the bones and muscles together as well as control the forearm muscles.
Tennis elbow is usually caused by overuse of the muscles linked to the elbow and those used in straightening the wrist. If the tendons and muscles are overly strained, small-sized tears and inflammation can form close to the bony lump on the exterior of the elbow.
Management of tennis elbow
Tennis elbow is a self-limiting ailment which means that it will settle on its own without treatment. Nevertheless, there are treatment options that can help improve the symptoms and hasten the recovery.
- It is vital to allow the injured arm to rest and stop any activity that triggers the issue.
- Apply a cold compress or ice pack wrapped in a clean cloth or towel for a few minutes several times throughout the day to lessen the pain or discomfort.
- Pain medications can be given to lower minor pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also help lessen the inflammation.
- Physiotherapy might be suggested in severe and persistent cases.
- Massage and manipulation of the affected area can alleviate the stiffness and pain as well as improve the range of movement in the arm.
- Surgery is the last option that involves removal of the damaged region of the tendon.
Generally, most cases of tennis elbow last around 6 months up to 2 years. Nevertheless, in some instances, full recovery is achieved in a year.
Disclaimer / More Information
The information posted on this page on tennis elbow is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the indications of this elbow joint condition, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.