A majority of those who deal with the pain from tennis elbow don’t actually play tennis. Tennis elbow is the most common reason patients see a doctor for elbow pain and affects 1% to 3% of the whole population.
So what exactly is tennis elbow? It’s a form of tendonitis that really has nothing to do with the sport. Repetitive motions of the arm often place stress on the tendons and can strain the muscles, resulting in micro-tears and acute pain. When the forearm is overused, pain can occur at the elbow. According to the Mayo Clinic, this occurs primarily where the tendons in your forearm attach to the outside bony area of the elbow (the epicondyle).
Causes of tennis elbow
The main cause of tennis elbow involves using the same motion with your arm repeatedly and that can lead to tearing in the tissue. Although it gets its name from athletes gripping their racket during a swing, this condition can also result from motions used in carpentry, painting, and cooking. Anything requiring repetitive arm movements has a risk of tearing in the muscle or tendons around the elbow.
Signs and symptoms to look out for
Symptoms may occur suddenly as a result of the overexertion of the wrist and hand. Forceful activities that can injure your arm can cause a quick onset. However, symptoms more commonly appear gradually over time.
Some of the symptoms you may experience include:
- Pain or burning sensation that radiates into your forearm from the elbow
- Weakness in the arm (making common tasks difficult)
- Increased pain when using your wrist and arm
- Stiffness in the elbow or difficulty extending the wrist
Although the injury affects the area around your elbow, you will likely feel pain around your wrist or trouble using your hands as well.
How to treat tennis elbow
The best way to treat tennis elbow is to see a physical therapist who can create a treatment plan that will alleviate some of the pain. A PT will be able to design a treatment program specifically for your lifestyle which helps to speed up the recovery. It’s important to avoid repeatedly making the same motion that caused the injury in the first place, so your treatment may include:
- Cold treatment with ice packs
- Low-impact strengthening exercises
- Stretching exercises to ease the muscles
- Using elastic bandages to take the pressure off your muscles
- Passive exercises depending on the severity
- Manual therapies
How Luna Can Help You Recover
With on-demand physical therapy, you don’t need to stress about getting to your appointment, your PT will come to you. By visiting your home, Luna’s PTs can make recommendations for a safer environment to complete your in-home exercises so you can heal faster. They will be able to more accurately develop a treatment plan that gives you the confidence you need to complete all of your sessions in the comfort of your own home.
So if you are suffering from pain in your arm that doesn’t seem to let up or go away, contact Luna to receive treatment from a board-certified physical therapist. We’re here and we’re ready to serve you!
Handpicked Resources For You
Stop Elbow Pain and Stay in the Game – Harvard Health Publishing
5 Exercises for Tennis Elbow Rehab – Healthline
How Can I Take Care of My Tennis Elbow? – WebMD
8 Exercises for Tennis Elbow – Medical News Today