tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the outer part of the elbow. It is a type of overuse injury that results from repetitive motion or strain on the muscles and tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle, the bony bump on the outer part of the elbow.
Some common causes of tennis elbow include:
Repetitive activities: Participating in activities that involve repetitive gripping, twisting, or lifting, such as playing tennis, using hand tools, typing, or painting.
Improper technique: Using incorrect technique or form when performing certain activities can place undue stress on the forearm muscles and tendons, leading to tennis elbow.
Age: As we age, our tendons become less flexible and more prone to tearing, which increases the risk of developing tennis elbow.
Occupational hazards: Certain professions, such as construction work or plumbing, involve frequent use of hand tools, which can increase the risk of developing tennis elbow.
Genetics: Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to developing tennis elbow.
Pre-existing medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can increase the risk of developing tennis elbow.
The treatment of tennis elbow typically involves a combination of non-surgical interventions, such as:
Rest: Resting the affected arm and avoiding activities that aggravate the condition can help to reduce symptoms and promote healing.
Ice and heat therapy: Applying ice or heat to the affected area can help to reduce pain and inflammation. Ice should be applied for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times per day, while heat can be applied for 15-20 minutes at a time, 2-3 times per day.
Pain relief medication: Over-the-counter pain relief medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Physical therapy: A physical therapist can teach you exercises and stretches to help improve strength and flexibility in the affected arm and reduce symptoms.