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