Tennis Elbow, as it is often called, is the most common ailment or condition at the elbows of the tennis players, but also arises in everyday life (most people who suffer from epicondylitis have never played tennis). The pain from Tennis elbow is felt in the external side of the elbow when muscle activity or pressure is done on the affected area. According to the severity of the pain, it will extend into the hand or the shoulder. If this condition is not treated properly can lead to serious mobility problems of the elbow. It often appears in people over 30 years.
What causes this injury
The correct name for tennis elbow is Lateral Epicondylitis and when attributed to the game of tennis and novice tennis players, it is often caused by poor technique when hitting a backhand. The right posture to play using backhand demands keeping the wrist firm and strong so that the force applied by the ball got spread over the whole arm and not just on the wrist. Tennis Elbow is also caused when the elbow is overstressed or repetitively overused and affects the outer area of the elbow, rather than the inner area often identified with Golfer's Elbow. Other than players who play with racquet, labors who lay bricks in the construction of a building, housewives, manual workers who are doing a lot of lifting and using the muscles of the forearm, and computer users who types a lot are prone to get this injury because their work require repeated bending of wrist.
Most common symptoms
The symptoms of Tennis Elbow usually begin gradually. The main symptom is pain, which may begin with a dull aching or soreness on the outer part of the elbow that goes away within 24 hours after an activity. As time goes on, it may take longer for the pain to go away. The condition may further progress to pain with any movement, even during everyday activities, such as lifting a jug of milk. Pain may spread to the hand, other parts of the arm, shoulder, or neck (referred pain). Other symptoms are, pain that radiates from the outside of the elbow into the forearm and wrist, pain when you extend your wrist, forearm weakness, pain that gets worse over weeks or months, a painful grip during certain activities, such as shaking hands or turning a doorknob, an inability to hold certain objects, such as a coffee cup, pain that typically lasts for 6 to 12 weeks and this discomfort can continue for as little as 3 weeks or as long as several years.
There are several available treatments for tennis elbow. These usually start off conservatively and work up to more involved treatments. The majority of patients respond to prolonged conservative treatment, which has been reported to be successful in about 90 percent of patients. In a small percentage of individuals, conservative treatment fails and painful tennis elbow persists causing discomfort and limited function. Some treatment techniques are employed to resolve the pain and dysfunction of tennis elbow. Initial treatment may include application of ice packs to the elbow and use of anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen) for pain relief. Stretching and strengthening exercises will increase strength without causing any irritation or overuse of the tendons. Massage therapy, acupuncture treatments and acupressure are popular treatments for tendinitis and Tennis Elbow.
While tennis elbow is common, playing tennis is only one of many activities that can result in this injury. The strongest risk factor for lateral epicondylosis is age. The peak incidence is between 30 to 60 years of age. Tennis elbow affects men more than women. Some speculative risk factors for lateral epicondylosis include taking up tennis later in life, unaccustomed strenuous activity, decreased reaction times and speed and repetitive eccentric muscle contractions.