Tennis elbow, formally known as Lateral Epicondylitis, is inflammation on the outer-side of the elbow. This condition results from strenuous activities that put pressure on the tendons in the forearm and the muscles around the elbow’s joint that are attached to the lateral Epicondyle on the Humerus. Tennis elbow is sometimes called Archer’s Elbow or Hooter’s Elbow as well. Fact states that almost half of all Lawn Tennis players suffer from tennis elbow at some point in their career. Another interesting fact is that only 5% of the overall reported cases of Tennis Elbow happen to tennis players.
How Tennis Elbow Happens:
The tendons that are attached to the hand muscles help in cocking the wrist back in position after any movement. If these tendons get worn-out from repeated movement regularly then Tennis Elbow can occur. Specifically, wear and tear in the extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis is often cited as the main cause of Tennis Elbow. As this particular muscle is attached to the lateral Epicondyle, the condition is medically termed as Lateral Epicondylitis.
Tennis Elbow is not just an inflammation of the tendons but it is a degenerating process of the tissues as a result of extensive overuse of the elbow joint. Tennis Elbow is often regarded as a form of tendinitis. And, despite its name referring to the sport tennis, golfers, computer users, machinists and even people who have to carry heavy briefcases to their work daily may also suffer from this condition.
Symptoms Of Tennis Elbow:
The symptoms appear in the form of sharp pain that much after the strenuous work has exercised its effect on the muscles. The pain begins on one side of the arm, mainly on the outer side often accompanied by an irritating itch under the arm or the wrist. The functioning of the arm gets affected to such an extent that simple work as pouring water or lifting a jug can be very painful.
The symptoms usually start at a slow pace and the pain tends to be almost negligible during the first few days. But as the problem increases with time and the pain begins to persist over longer periods. It gets so severe at times that you will not be able to move your arm. Some reported cases state that the pain extends to other parts of the body like the shoulder, upper arm and even the neck of a person.
Getting Relief From Tennis Elbow:
One needs not worry as tennis elbow is completely treatable and the best cure is complete rest of the arm. Small tears in the tendon usually heal on its own but if the problem is severe a doctor can sort that out. Only the most extreme cases require surgery.
The pain has a tendency to recur. Those who have undergone surgery should avoid the old reasons that lead to the problem. As for the tennis players, orthopedics suggests strengthening the arm muscles and foot work before returning to the sport.
Tennis Elbow is a fairly common condition of the arm and elbow that is easily treated. The most important thing to do is to visit a doctor if there is lingering pain for more than a few days. After some rest and medication, you will be back in no time.