When we hear the term Tennis Elbow, we immediately think of tennis players, as we should! Tennis Elbow is a common injury among tennis enthusiasts, but thinking its exclusively a tennis oriented injury is erroneous. Tennis players often fall victim to lateral epicondylitis (the proper name of Tennis Elbow) due to incorrect form and excessive force during strokes. Yet anyone is susceptible to developing this condition if they subject themselves to repeated reaching, gripping, pulling or pushing.
Repetitive motions that engage the hand, wrist, and arm increase one’s risk of developing Tennis Elbow, as these motions can generate inflammation of the tissues surrounding the elbow. Excessive inflammation leads to weakened muscles and potential muscle tears. The condition is most easily identified by pain and soreness extending from the forearm into the elbow muscles, accompanied by decreased strength in the arm and hand. If these areas of the arm are already inflamed, aggravating Tennis Elbow is as easy as engaging in small, mundane activities like picking up a glass of water or lifting a grocery bag.
Instead of pushing through the pain to continue the course of a day, you should rest the affected hand and arm immediately, particularly avoiding motions that cause spikes of pain. Ice can help reduce the swelling, and a brace may be needed to support the muscles. If the condition persists, a physician should be sought out immediately. Physicians can further provide relief by prescription strong anti-inflammatory or pain relief mediation.
Due to the loss of strength that results from persisting Tennis Elbow, you might need to see a physical therapist in order to rehabilitate the weakened arm. The process of regaining strength in any set of muscles is delicate, especially following an injury. Physical therapists can develop exercise programs that can foster a speedy recovery, and they can monitor the progress and healing process of the affected areas, too.