What Is a Tennis Elbow?

“Tennis elbow” doesn’t just affect tennis players. Anyone who uses their elbows in a repetitive motion, such as painters and plumbers, can develop this condition. Read on for more information about tennis elbow, a condition that can be quite painful. 

What causes tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow, also known as “lateral epicondylitis,” is most common in adults over the age of 30. It is often seen in athletes who play racquet sports who have improper technique, which puts excessive stress on the arm. It can also result after many years of repetitive elbow movements (such as years of painting houses, cutting up ingredients for cooking, or even using a computer mouse), which damages the muscles and tendons in the arm. However, it can also develop in people who don’t play sports and who don’t have a job that requires repetitive use of the arm. 

What are symptoms of tennis elbow?

If you have tennis elbow, you may have pain or a burning sensation in your elbow. Your arm may feel weak, and your grip strength may be affected. You might even have trouble picking up objects or opening a door. 

How is tennis elbow treated?

Tennis elbow often feels better on its own, over time, without any treatment. Rest, ice, and an over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen are at-home treatments you can try. You should also make sure that if you are playing tennis or another sport that you are using the correct technique. 

If your elbow still hurts no matter what remedy you try, your doctor will perform tests to make sure that tennis elbow is indeed the problem. He or she may recommend physical therapy to stretch and strengthen your muscles, or you may be given an elbow brace. Cortisone injections or PRP therapy may also be options. If nothing helps and the pain persists over 6 months, surgery may be recommended. Surgery for tennis elbow can be done with minimally invasive techniques, and rehabilitation exercises will be necessary afterwards. 

Tennis elbow can be quite painful, but there is help available. Call Specialty Orthopaedics in Harrison, New York, to schedule a consultation for your elbow pain. Call 914-686-0111 today!

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