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Tennis Elbow Injury

Tennis elbow is a condition in which the outer part of the elbow becomes sore and tender. Tennis elbow is an acute or chronic inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow (lateral epicondyle). The forearm muscles and tendons become damaged from overuse - repeating the same motions again and again. This leads to inflammation, pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow.


Signs and symptoms -

  • Pain on the outer part of the elbow (lateral epicondyle)
  • Point tenderness over the lateral epicondyle-a prominent part of the bone on the outside of the elbow
  • Pain from gripping and movements of the wrist, especially wrist extension[citation needed] and lifting movements
  • Pain from activities that use the muscles that extend[citation needed] the wrist (e.g. pouring a container of liquid, lifting with the palm down, sweeping, especially where wrist movement is required)
  • Morning stiffness

Treatment -

The first step is to rest your arm and avoid the activity that causes your symptoms for at least 2 - 3 weeks. You may also want to:

  • Put ice on the outside of your elbow 2 - 3 times a day.
  • Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin).

If your tennis elbow is due to sports activity, you may want to:

  • Ask about any changes you can make in your technique.
  • Check any sports equipment you are using to see if any changes may help. If you play tennis, changing your grip size of the racket may help.
  • Think about how often you have been playing and whether you should cut back.

If your symptoms are related to working on a computer, ask your manager about making changes to your work station or have someone look at how you chair, desk, and computer are set up.
An occupational therapist can show you exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles of your forearm.
You can buy a special brace for tennis elbow at most drug stores. It wraps around the upper part of your forearm and takes some of the pressure off the muscles.
Your doctor may also inject cortisone and a numbing medicine around the area where the tendon attaches to the bone. This may help decrease the swelling and pain.
If the pain continues after 6 - 12 months of rest and treatment, surgery may be recommended. Talk with your orthopedic surgeon about the risks, and whether surgery might help.