Are You Suffering From Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is an overuse injury that occurs at the bony site where the muscles of the forearm attach. When these muscle are overused it can cause pain and can start to become either irritated or inflamed. This condition is known as lateral epicondylitis or "tennis elbow"- although the majority of those affected do not have to play tennis.
Most cases, in fact, involve blue collar workers who repetitively use their hands including painters, carpenters, ironworkers, plumbers, welders, and construction workers.
The most common way for this condition to be created is from an activity that is involving repetitive wrist extension.
The pain will typically begin as an intermittent or gradual discomfort during activity and then it progresses so that even simple activities, like holding a coffee cup, can become painful. Pain may in some cases increase when you straighten your arm, grip a doorknob or shake hands. The pain can also vary from mild to severe and commonly radiates into the forearm, sometimes to the wrist.
If most cases of tennis elbow are made worse with extending your wrist, do the opposite. Extending your wrist causes all of the overused muscle to shorten. The goal in treating tennis elbow is to repetitively lengthen those muscles. This can be done through repetitive wrist flexion.
In most cases, the first step in a successful treatment plan is to modify or eliminate activities that cause these symptoms. At night, do your best to avoid sleeping with your elbow compressed beneath your pillow. Also, you should try to avoid lifting heavy objects with your palm facing down. Tennis or racquetball players may need to consider changing to a lighter racket or try a smaller handle.
Tennis elbow recovery involves patience. The injury came on by overusing your muscles, so it takes time to relax those muscles. The more resting and proper exercising that is done, the faster the recovery process is.
Without any treatment, "tennis elbow" will often linger - 80% of patients still report pain after one year.