Is soreness or pain on the outer part of the elbow, It happens when you damage the tendons that connect the muscles of your forearm to your elbow. The pain may spread down your arm to your wrist. If you don’t treat the injury, it may hurt to do simple things like turn a key or open a door.
What causes tennis elbow?
Most of the time tennis elbow is caused by overuse. You probably got it from doing activities where you twist your arm over and over. This can stress the tendon, causing tiny tears that in time lead to pain. A direct blow to the outer elbow can also cause tendon damage.
Tennis elbow is common in tennis players, but most people get it from other activities that work the same muscles, such as gardening, painting, or using a screwdriver. It is often the result of using equipment that is the wrong size or using it the wrong way.
You don’t have to be a tennis player to get tennis elbow, as repeated use of the forearm and elbow for many other occupational activities such as painting, typing, and weaving can also result in lateral epicondylitis.
The elbow joint is made up of three bones: the humerus (upper arm bone), radius (smaller bone of the forearm), and ulna (larger bone of the forearm). The lower end of the humerus is divided into two bony protrusions known as the medial and lateral epicondyles. Various structures such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments support the stability of the elbow joint.
The most commonly involved tendon in lateral epicondylitis is the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis or ECRB.
Anyone can get tennis elbow, but it usually occurs in people in their 40s.
- Rest your arm, and avoid any activity that makes the pain worse.
- As soon as you notice pain, use ice or cold packs for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, several times a day. Always put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin. Keep using ice as long as it relieves pain. Or use a warm, moist cloth or take hot baths if they feel good. Do what works for you.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen if you need them. Or try an NSAID cream that you rub over the sore area. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Wear a counterforce brace when you need to grasp or twist something. This is a strap around your forearm worn around your forearm just below the elbow. It may ease the pressure on the tendon and spread force throughout your arm.
After the pain eases, your doctor or physical therapist can teach you rehabilitation (rehab) exercises to stretch and strengthen your tendon. Doing these exercises at home can help your tendon heal and can prevent further injury.
- Always take time to warm up before and stretch after you exercise.
Be patient, and stay with your treatment. You will probably feel better in a few weeks, but it may take 6 to 12 months for the tendon to heal. In some cases, the pain lasts for 2 years or longer.
If your symptoms don’t improve after 6 to 8 weeks of home treatment, your doctor may suggest a shot of corticosteroid. This could give you some short-term relief so you can start rehab exercises. Surgery is seldom needed for tennis elbow.
Warm up well before play. Muscles and tendons are like Silly Putty and stretch more when they are warm. Make sure to keep the muscles and tendons warm as you play.
A snug, but not tight, strap worn around the top of the forearm often decreases the pull of the muscles on the lateral epicondyle and lessens pain
However, it appears unlikely that these medications can actually evoke more rapid healing of the condition. Icing the joint after activity may also decrease the irritation and relieve the pain. If treatment with decreased activity, exercises, and medication is not effective, your physician may recommend a corticosteroid injection in the affected area. This can further decrease the pain and irritation.
In some cases this is not effective and surgery can be considered for these resistant and chronic cases.
Sadly Doctors are quick to recommend that their patients swallow anti-inflammatory pills every 3-4 hours to help with the pain.
Take it easy and totally immobilize your arm with an elbow brace
- Avoid the injections and shots.
If your Doctor recommends cortisone shots for tennis elbow, run out of the room as quickly as possible.
The truth you really need to hear and know is that these marketed “quick-fix” injections are only effective and provide pain relief for 4-6 weeks.
If the injections are not done properly, your tendon could actually die.
Rest, ice, compress and elevate your arm.
When at home in the evening, wrap your arm in a towel and prop it up on a pillow.
- Don’t stop doing what you are doing.
Do not aggravate your arm ,just cut back on things that may case your arm to hurt
It has been proven that individuals who continue doing what caused their tennis elbow but slow it down or cut back on the amount of time they do it, respond better to home treatment than those who avoid using their arm altogether.
Study after study has shown that strengthening the tendons in your elbow and trying to thicken them is flat-out the best way to stop your pain and ensure that your tennis elbow go aways for good.
Strengthening Exercises for Tennis Elbow
- Hold a tennis ball (or a rolled-up sock) in your hand.
- Make a fist around the ball (or sock) and squeeze.
- Hold for about 6 seconds, then relax for up to 10 seconds.
- Repeat 8 to 12 times.
- Switch the ball (or sock) to your other hand and do 8 to 12 times.
- Wrist turn with weights : Repeat the exercise holding light weights
- Elbow bend up to shoulders : Lower arm and raise it up hold for 10-30 sec
- Wrist flexion use your hands and press with the opposite hand for 15-30 secs when the other hand is facing down wards
- Wrist lift upwards and perform a wrist curl with one hand at a time with light weight
- Wrist turn : Bend your elbow at right angle and turn slowly down wards so that it facs down wards and hold for for 5 sec and slowly release.