Tennis elbow, commonly known as lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition affecting the elbow's outer part. This prevalent injury is not limited to tennis players. It also affects individuals who engage in repetitive arm motions, such as carpenters, painters, and plumbers.
Tennis elbow is caused by the repetitive use of the forearm muscles and tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle, a bony bump on the outer part of the elbow. This repetitive use causes tiny tears in the tendon, leading to inflammation and pain.
- Mild elbow pain that slowly gets worse
- Pain extending from the exterior of the elbow down to the forearm and wrist
- Ache and tenderness in the bony knob on the outside of the elbow
- Heavy limbs, persistent soreness, and poor energy levels due to overexertion can exacerbate tennis elbow
- numbness, weakness, or tingling in the affected arm
Most cases of tennis elbow will heal on theirs. However, recovery may take up to 18 months and proven nonsurgical techniques exist that can accelerate the recovery. In severe cases, surgery may be required. Taking pain medication and massaging the elbow may also help.
The treatment of tennis elbow usually involves a combination of rest, physical therapy, and pain management. Resting the affected arm and avoiding activities aggravating the pain can help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Physiotherapy may include exercises to strengthen the forearm muscles and improve flexibility. Pain management may involve over-the-counter pain medications or prescription medications.
It is advised to check with a doctor when the pain first occurs to rule out a sprain or a torn tendon, which may require surgery to repair. Contact our elbow specialist, Dr Dennis Ng, as soon as possible to prevent injury from decreasing your quality of life.
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