You don’t have to be Venus Williams to develop a nasty case of tennis elbow. You don’t even need to look at a tennis court, in fact.
Tennis elbow is a painful condition caused by repetitive movement. You can develop it by doing something as simple as assembling furniture with a screwdriver or lifting heavy objects. Anything that you don’t normally do in your daily routine can create the perfect pain storm if it involves repetitive motion which implicates the use of the elbow.
Manifesting on the outside of the elbow, tennis elbow is usually the result of gripping items like screwdrivers or even door handles too tightly, while performing the same motion over and over again, inflaming the tendons. It can be a troublesome problem if you don’t have it looked at early on and can create a chronic challenge.
And to be honest, pro tennis players don’t usually have this problem because they’re aware of biomechanics and practice flawless form. That’s why they’re pros!
Pain on the outside of the elbow may also radiate down into the wrists and hands, making gripping objects difficult and painful.
Pain may manifest when you attempt simple daily tasks like holding your coffee cup or turning a doorknob. You may also experience weakness in the affected elbow and forearm.
People at risk
Some people are more at risk for tennis elbow than others. Interestingly, tennis elbow is most common in people between the ages of 30 and 50.
People engaged in work which involves repetitive movement on a daily basis are also more at risk. Plumbers, carpenters, cooks and butchers are just some of the working people most affected.
Amateur racket sports enthusiasts are also at risk, especially if they’ve received no formal training concerning technique.
When to seek treatment
If you’re experiencing pain as described above and you’ve been icing the joint and resting it with no material result, it’s time to see a medical professional to obtain a diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment for tennis elbow largely depends on what’s caused it. If you’re a racket sport player, you’ll be educated about proper form and biomechanical issues which may be impeding its correct practice.
Your clinician will also educate you about strengthening the muscles and ligaments implicated, to prevent reinjury. Most likely, you’ll be working with a physical therapist. Specific exercises will be demonstrated and then prescribed, for your recovery.
Only in rare cases is surgery required for this condition and only if there’s been no improvement, long term. Damaged tissue will be removed. Another possible treatment model is injection of platelet rich plasma – often turned to by professional athletes.
Back & Body Medical
At Back & Body, we work as a team to relieve pain, drawing from therapies under the rubrics of chiropractic, sports medicine, physical therapy and acupuncture. We’ve won awards for our multi-disciplinarian model.
You don’t need to be a Masters level tennis star to develop tennis elbow. But you can find relief at our award-winning clinic. Contact us to book a consultation.