Tennis elbow is a painful inflammatory condition of the muscles and tendons supporting the elbow joint caused by repetitive overstraining of the forearm. The pain ranges from mild to severe in character. It is located at the lateral side of the elbow. The pain is felt when the forearm is straightened or extended fully. The causes of pain are overstraining and repetitive stress on the muscles and tendons of the forearm during sports like tennis, racquet, golf, etc. and some professions like carpentry, painting, and many more. It can recover by itself in 6 months to 2 years according to the damage. It is treated by rest, ice packs, medicines, physiotherapy, steroid injections and many more.
What Is The Best Treatment For Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is a painful disorder caused by repetitive overstraining of the muscles and tendons of the elbow joint. It improves by itself in 6 months to 2 years without treatment. However, resting the affected part, with proper physiotherapy exercises and anti-inflammatory drugs are the best treatment for tennis elbow.
The elbow joint is connected to the forearm by muscles and tendons to strengthen and move the arm. The repetitive incorrect action of a wrist can cause small tears in the muscles and tendons of the forearm. It can also lead to the inflammation of the tendons and muscles. You feel pain when the forearm is straightened or extended fully.
Tennis elbow is a painful condition characterized by inflammation of tendons attached by the side of the elbow. It occurs due to overuse or repetitive use of the elbow especially in professions like butchers, painters, plumbers, carpenters and sports like tennis, racquet sports, golf, swimming, etc. It is given the name tennis elbow as 5% of the tennis players develop this condition. However, anyone can also develop tennis elbow by other activities like weightlifting, swimming or playing violin. These activities cause strain to the muscles and tendons. The pain is felt outside the affected elbow and may radiate to forearm and hands. It is medically known as lateral epicondylitis. It usually affects the people at the age between 30 to 50 years.
Tennis elbow can happen in both the hands at a time, but it is likely to affect the arm which is used most. Depending on the damage occur from 6months to 2 years without treatment. Relapse of tennis elbow is also common.
Treatment Of Tennis Elbow Is Done In The Following Ways–
Rest- proper rest of the affected arm is necessary to recover from the damage and is the best treatment. Every activity that strains the affected muscles and tendons like lifting and sports must be stopped until the forearm improves.
Ice Wraps- Application of crushed ice wrapped in a towel on the affected elbow for few minutes can alleviate the pain.
Physiotherapy- massage and physical exercises performed under the supervision of a physiotherapist are helpful to relieve pain and stiffness in the affected arm. It can also strengthen the muscles and maintain mobility. A splint or brace or support bandage can also be used.
Medicines- painkillers such as paracetamol and non-inflammatory corticosteroid drugs like ibuprofen, etc. are prescribed to relieve pain and swelling.
Steroid Injections- hormone cortisol is injected into the affected area directly to treat pain in the muscles and tendons.
Shockwave Therapy- high energy shockwaves are released on the skin of the affected part to relieve pain and enhance movement. It is effective in selected cases.
PRP Injections- plasma rich plasma (PRP) injections contain concentrated platelets that can repair damaged tissues. Nowadays, it can be used to speed up the healing process in Tennis elbow.
Surgery is done in the cases in which above conservative treatment fails and tennis elbow relapses again and again.
According to recent research, the best treatment of tennis elbow is rest, physiotherapy exercises and anti-inflammatory drugs for initial relief.
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