The elbow is one of the most regularly used joints in the body, especially for the active or hard-working individual. It is located in the center of the arm, providing flexibility to the arm. The elbow is also prone to injury, as a contact point for trauma and repetitive stress injuries. The elbow can be easily put under stress, as it is a major joint in one of the most active regions of the human body. It is put under extreme pressure as the point of injury or trauma. Because it has fewer planes of movement than the wrist or the shoulder, it can be painful when twisted or hyperextended.
What is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) happens when the tendon attached to the bony, outside part of the elbow becomes inflamed. The tendon’s tissues may not only be inflamed, but could also be partially torn. It is a condition that affects hundreds of thousands of tennis players, as well as those who manage to sustain the same injury because of movements they perform at work or in other sports.
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow:
- Sharp pain on the outside of the elbow
- Pain that radiates down the forearm (but not in all cases)
- Pain when you extend your wrist (bend it upward), shake hands or lift objects (including a comb or toothbrush in severe cases)
- Pain to the touch
- Loss of grip strength
How to Prevent Tennis Elbow:
- Minimize all activities that increase and aggravate pain in the elbow.
- Physical therapy or occupational therapy, which may employ massage techniques, stretching exercises
- Anti-inflammatory medications can be used. Take aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen for pain and inflammation.
- Apply ice applications 15-20 minutes, 3-4 times a day.
- Use an elbow brace or wrap to redirect pressure away from the inflamed elbow.
If you are experiencing elbow pain or think you may be suffering from symptoms of tennis elbow, call Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050 to request an appointment.