What is going on with my elbow? 

When you think about sports injuries, the last body part you probably think about is your elbow. Between knee, hip, ankle, and shoulder injuries during sports season, the idea of an elbow injury isn't the first thing that usually comes to mind.
But, it should be taken into consideration, especially since tennis elbow injuries can affect more than three-percent of the population. While men ages 30 to 50 are more susceptible to tennis elbow injuries than women, anyone at any age can be diagnosed with the condition. 

What Exactly Is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow occurs when the muscles and tendons in your forearm are strained due to overuse. However, the injury can even be the result of banging or knocking your elbow accidentally – even if just at home. 
Although the name “tennis elbow” might have people thinking athletes who play tennis are the only ones at risk, fewer than five-percent of the cases where tennis elbow was diagnosed were actually related to tennis. 
Most of the occurences of tennis elbow occur in the following groups of people, including:
  • Assembly Line Workers
  • Baseball Players
  • Bowlers
  • Carpenters
  • Dentists
  • Garden Workers (pruning bushes or pulling weeds)
  • Golfers
  • Mechanics
  • Musicians (playing violin)
  • Lawn Workers
Even just performing household chores like vacuuming, sweeping, and scrubbing the tub or shower can put a person at risk of suffering from tennis elbow. 

Prevention Is Key

While there is treatment available to people who are diagnosed with tennis elbow, prevention is the best medicine when it comes to avoiding tennis elbow symptoms.  
If possible, when performing certain activities, try and avoid repetitive tasks. Even just taking a 10-minute break here and there while playing tennis or pruning bushes can help to prevent tennis elbow.
Stretching is also a vital component in preventing tennis elbow, especially before and after participating in sports life tennis, baseball, and golf. Make certain you are also utilizing the proper equipment both on and off the field to help lessen your risk of tennis elbow by protecting your muscles and tendons in the right manner. 

Find Relief from Tennis Elbow

When a person suffers from tennis elbow, it can become difficult for him or her to perform simple actions like lifting a cup, turning a key, or shaking hands due to the pain radiating from the forearm and wrist.
If you do happen to fall victim to tennis elbow, have no fear. There are many treatments available for tennis elbow, such as: 
  • Rest
  • Ice and compression to help reduce inflammation and pain
  • NSAIDS (like Advil or Aleve)
  • Exercise once the inflammation lessens to help strengthen the muscles of the forearm and prevent recurrence
  • Ultrasound, if necessary
  • Steroid injections. If recommended by a physician
If you do feel you are beginning to suffer from tennis elbow, a tennis elbow strap can be extremely helpful in helping to prevent further injury by lessening the stress on the forearm when participating in sports or certain actives that could cause you more pain. 
However, you should always check with a physician or physical therapist before going back to exercising to ensure you don’t cause a more serious injury that might end up requiring surgery if not careful. 
Do you think you might be suffering from tennis elbow? Make an appointment at Curtis Orthopaedics to undergo a medical evaluation by one of our professional orthopaedics who can help you find relief from pain as soon as possible!