Tennis elbow basically refers to inflammation and pain of the tendons that connect the forearm muscles on the exterior of the elbow. This can occur if the individual overuses the forearm muscles during certain activities such as playing racket sports or weightlifting. Individuals who work as plumbers, carpenters and painters are at risk for developing tennis elbow. Most cases of this condition can be treated effectively without requiring surgery.
Measures to manage tennis elbow
- You have to instruct the individual to take some time to rest from any activity that causes tennis elbow for more than a few weeks. This will help the affected muscles rest and eventually recover.
- Provide non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or aspirin to help minimize the pain and swelling.
- You have to apply ice on the affected area after the injury was sustained. The ice pack must be applied for 15-20 minutes at three to four times in a day. Just make sure that the ice pack is wrapped in a clean cloth or towel before applied on the skin to prevent further injury.
- The elbow must be wrapped with a tensor bandage or apply a compression brace. Both can help reduce the swelling.
- You have to encourage the individual to perform forearm stretching once the pain and swelling subsides. When stretching the affected forearm, the individual must stretch the arm out in front and gently pull down the hand using the other hand until a slight stretch is felt. This must be held for 5-10 minutes and then relax. This must be repeated six times.
- The affected arm must be strengthened. After two to three weeks or once the pain from tennis elbow has completely diminished, the individual must start strengthening exercises. The individual must sit down while holding a light dumbbell in the hand of the affected arm. The forearm must be placed on the knee so that the wrist is over the knee. The hand must be allowed to drop toward the ground. The individual should slowly raise the hand and hold for about two seconds and then slowly lower the hand. This must be repeated 10 times at 3-5 times a day.
You can learn these measures in a first aid course. All you have to do is to enroll for first aid training in Toronto today.
Important considerations to bear in mind
The individual must not stretch his/her forearm beyond the normal range. If the individual experiences pain during strengthening exercise, the individual should perform them without extra weight.
In case the symptoms do not improve after 6-12 months with conservative measures, it is best to consult the doctor. Surgery might be required to repair the damaged muscle tissues or reattach to the bone.
The individual must keep the affected arm higher than the level of the heart as often as possible. In case the individual could not avoid any activity that aggravates the tennis elbow, the doctor can recommend a brace or strap to minimize stress on the affected area. The best way to stop tennis elbow from occurring again is to encourage the individual to warm up the arms before starting any physical activity and utilize proper techniques.