Do you experience a dull, achy pain around your elbow? If so, you may be experiencing tennis elbow, a form of tendonitis on the outside of the elbow.
What Causes Tennis Elbow?
The constant repetitive motion from playing tennis places stress on the muscles and tendons that are connected to the lateral epicondyle (the elbow area). These muscles extend along the top side of the forearm to the wrist, which are responsible for extending or bending back the wrist and fingers. When too much stress is placed on these muscles and tendons, it causes micro tears on the tendon attacked to the lateral epicondyle. This localizes the pain to the elbow, and the more stress that is put on the affected muscles, the more painful the tendonitis becomes.
Tips to Treat Tennis Elbow
Decreased activity with the elbow and wrist is generally preferred to treat your injury. Stretching and strengthening exercises are especially helpful to help maintain tennis elbow. Some other methods to help your tendonitis include:
- Placing your forearm on a flat surface while holding a 1-2 pound weight. Keeping the palm down, slowly extend the wrist, bending it up and down. The forearm muscles should contract when the wrist is moved upward and stretch when the hand is moved downward.
- Take anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
- Ice the joint.
Tips to Prevent Tennis Elbow
If you haven’t experienced the symptoms from tennis elbow, you can prevent it! The following tips are especially useful:
- Warm up before playing.
- Choose the appropriate equipment and maintain it properly.
- Condition for the activity by stretching and strengthening all the muscles used in the sport.
Tennis elbow is extremely common among athletes, but it can easily be treated. Each orthopedic specialist in our Bellevue office has the skills and training needed to help treat injuries such as tennis elbow. We can help you get back on the courts! Give us a call today to schedule your consultation!