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TENNIS ELBOW

Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow is a condition where the outer part of the elbow becomes sore and tender. It is commonly associated with playing tennis and other racquet sports, though this can happen to almost anybody.

Tennis elbow is an overuse injury occurring on the outer elbow caused by the activities of daily living. It is due to overexertion, repetitive motion, and unaccustomed activity. For the same reasons it is more common on the dominant hand side.

The symptoms include radiating pain from the outside of elbow to forearm and wrist, pain during extension of wrist, weakness of the forearm, a painful grip while shaking hands or turning a doorknob, and not being able to hold relatively heavy items in the hand. The pain is similar to the pain of the condition known as Golfer's elbow but the latter occurs at the inner side of the elbow.

Treatment

Rest when the pain is worse. Medication to reduce the pain and some anti-inflammatory local creams can help. Simple exercises and stretches which increase strength and flexibility of the affected area should be started at the earliest. These exercises may be later combined with exercises for the entire upper limb muscles. A tennis elbow brace or strap to reduce stress and aggravation to the injury can help. Severe and consistent pain, not responding to the other treatment may respond to local infiltration of a steroid. Lastly surgery, when all of the above approaches fail. Less than 10 percent of patients are recommended to doing so. If tennis elbow is left untreated, it can lead to chronic pain that degrades quality of daily living. But at the same time some patients may improve without any treatment within six to twenty-four months, provided they avoid re injury.

Healthy Joint Club says:

Not being able to use the hand for very basic needs due to pain in the elbow is a cause for worry. People may not be able to even button their shirt and may be dropping small objects in the kitchen. But fortunately despite these dramatic symptoms this condition is relatively innocent. Even though the pain may not disappear at once with treatment, the improvement is usually good enough for the people to start using their hand again. Most cases improve with time. Even though the time taken for the recovery may vary from person to person there is a natural tendency for this condition to get better slowly. It is easy to offload some weight off the elbow to get pain relief by strengthening the other muscles of the same limb(Shoulder, Wrist and fingers) along with regular stretches of the elbow itself.

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