Tennis elbow is a common problem among sportsperson. It is usually caused by the overuse of the hand muscles including arm and forearm.
Nevertheless, this problem has nothing to do with Tennis! The condition derived its name from Tennis, as it is common among the tennis players.
You will be surprised to know that many famous sports personality suffer from this problem. Some of the names are Sachin Tendulkar (Indian Cricketer), Stuart Clark (Cricket Bowler, Australia) and Jim Vanek (Tennis Player). All these popular sportspersons suffered a lot due to Tennis Elbow.
Tennis elbow is also known as ‘Golfer’s elbow’.
We need to dive deeper into the problem in order to understand it in a better way.
Dr. Anil Arora, Head of Unit and Lead Consultant, Department of Orthopaedics, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj, Delhi has thrown some light on this problem.
What is Tennis Elbow?
It is a condition which is caused by an injury to the muscles and tendon area around the elbow, especially the outer bony area attached to the muscles of the forearm. In the case of a tennis elbow, a person is not able to move their hand freely. This problem is caused by degenerative changes rather than inflammation.
People who are physically active or the gym-goers might also develop this problem due to the overuse of the muscles around the elbow.
Who are the most vulnerable to Tennis Elbow?
People who indulge in activities which require repetitive arm and elbow movement are more commonly affected by Tennis Elbow.
Athletes, golfers, tennis players, carpenters, cleaners, labourers, mechanics, etc are at high risk.
What are the symptoms of Tennis Elbow?
- Severe pain in the outer section of the elbow is the first sign of Tennis Elbow.
- Decreased grip strength
- Pain during lifting, push-ups or shaking hands.
- Tenderness in the outer bony part of the elbow.
- Soreness in the forearm.
How can we treat Tennis Elbow?
First of all, the Tennis Elbow is diagnosed through physical examination or X-ray.
- The treatment of Tennis Elbow involves:
- Minimising the movement of the elbow.
- Wearing braces to support the elbow.
- Therapies like massages, stretching, ice packs etc are done to increase the strength and flexibility.
- Anti-inflammatory and over-the-counter medicines.
- Corticosteroid injections, in case all the other treatment fails.
- Surgery is the last resort for patients who have been dealing with Tennis Elbow for around 6-12 months. In the surgery, the tendon is reattached and released by making a small incision on the elbow. Recovery takes time and requires regular sessions with the physiotherapists.
How can we avoid Tennis Elbow?
- Take frequent breaks during any physical activity or sports. Don’t continue the activity if you experience pain in the elbow.
- Change your routine to avoid overuse of your elbow.
- Exercise regularly to relax your muscles and release tension.