How to Cure Tennis Elbow

I can say from experience there is nothing more annoying than suffering from tennis elbow.  The medical name for this condition is called lateral epicondylitis and is mostly caused where the tendons of the forearm attach to the bony part of the outside of your elbow (the lateral epicondyle). It’s called tennis elbow because the pain is induced by the swinging motion of a tennis racket against the ball.  The pain is a sharp shooting pain specifically in that area where the tendon meets the bone.  The pain can be increased by pressing down on the outer part of the elbow or by gripping or lifting objects. This condition is caused by overuse of this part of the arm from such activities as playing tennis or golf, and by occupational activities such as plumbing and painting.  Once this condition occurs it can be painful to do many regulars chores such as raking leaves or even picking up a cup of coffee.  

As the condition progresses, the pain can extend from the elbow to other parts of the arm and wrist as a result.  This is due to the fact that the body is trying to compensate for the injured area and thus puts more stress on other parts of the arm as a result. If this condition is left untreated and the arm is not left to rest and recuperate then in severe cases, surgery is in order.  In many instances this condition can be alleviated through the use of over-the-counter pain relievers and rest.  However, the problem can keep reoccurring when you start up the activity which caused the tennis elbow problem in the first place, even after a long layoff.

tennis elbow pain in forearm

A separate condition that may be mistaken as tennis elbow occurs many times in young children who experience pain on the inside part of the elbow where the tendon meets the bone.  This will occur most frequently when throwing a ball repetitively over and extended period of time.  The pain here is caused by the tendons rubbing on the growth plates in the arm and is caused by stress or overuse of the arm while the child is still growing.  In any event, there are similar treatments that can be used to cure this condition as well as tennis elbow.

The nonsurgical treatment for tennis elbow should be attempted before surgery.  The first order of business is to remove the pain.  Generally, this can be accomplished through applying ice to the outside part of the elbow and refraining from the activity that cause the symptoms.  In many instances, acetaminophen or an anti-inflammatory medication is prescribed for pain relief.

The use of orthotics is also used to alleviate this problem.  There are also counterforce brace and wrist splints that can be used to reduce the pressure on the tendon and thereby rest the muscles and tendons.  Following this, the next step is a corticosteroid injection around the outside of the elbow if the condition does not improve. This can be very helpful in reducing pain.

Follow these procedures, the next phase of treatment is to modify activities to insure that the pain does not come back.  This can include physical therapy and various exercises to strengthen the muscles and stretch the tendons so that the range of motion is increased and the pain does not come back.
As a last resort, surgery is considered in people who have excruciating pain and where the nonsurgical treatment did not get better after an extended period of time.  The surgical procedure involves removing diseased tendon tissue and reattaching normal tendon tissue to bone.  The procedure is an outpatient surgery, not requiring an overnight stay in the hospital. It can be performed under regional or general anesthesia.  Most commonly, the surgery is performed through a small incision over the bony prominence on the outside of the elbow.. Recently, however, an arthroscopic surgery method has been developed. So far, no significant benefits have been found to using the arthroscopic method over the more traditional open incision.

This website has been developed to help people understand the different remedies and products that can be used to cure tennis elbow and other similar injuries affecting the elbow area from overuse.


Tennis Elbow

Reader Adam points us to this article in Newsweek about Tennis Elbow. Two things to note: The futile tone of the writer. How he developed the problem. The diagnosis of tendonitis. The standard treatment options of rest, ice, etc.

Banjo (tennis) elbow?

Recently though I’ve developed intermittent swelling and tenderness on the outside of my right elbow. It looks to be a classic case of tennis elbow apparently caused by the bluegrass rolls flexing the tendons in the arm.

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