Tennis is a great lifetime sport that provides many health benefits. While these benefits often outweigh the costs, it is possible that a common injury can slow you down. Tennis elbow is one of the most common injuries for tennis players. Don’t limit your time on the courts this season with this preventable injury.
What is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow, also referred to as lateral epicondylitis, is a type of overuse injury. The name of this painful condition suggests it is a sports injury, however, it isn’t unique to tennis players. Tennis elbow can develop from the repetitive motion of the arm and wrist. The tendons that connect the muscle in the forearm to the elbow joint become inflamed, creating a painful injury.
If you are experiencing symptoms of tennis elbow, it could be beneficial to seek a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon. It is important to rule out alternative issues before you attempt to treat this condition on your own.
Often, tennis elbow can improve on its own. However, ignoring the issue is not the best course of action. Here are some easy steps to alleviate the painful symptoms of tennis elbow.
Tennis Elbow Treatment Options
- Rest and ice: This may sound simple but resting the effected arm will allow the inflammation to decrease. Applying ice to the area, although never directly on the skin, can also reduce inflammation.
- Over the counter medications: Anti-inflammatory medicines such as Ibuprofen, Advil or Naproxen can provide pain relief and reduce the swelling.
- Arm brace: Wearing a wrist splint or a brace on the forearm can help reduce some of the stress of the impacted tendons.
- Physical therapy: An orthopedic surgeon may provide you with a prescription for physical therapy. A trained therapist can help you with exercises to strengthen the muscles of your forearm, relieving some stress and strain on the tendons in your forearm.
- Injections: Orthopedic surgeons might recommend using an injection to relieve the symptoms associated with tennis elbow.
Depending on the severity and duration of your symptoms, an orthopedic surgeon might suggest alternative treatment options. Each individual is different and therefore, thorough evaluation is necessary to determine the most successful treatment approach.