Health & Medical Disability

What Is Tennis Elbow?

A common question among tennis players is what is tennis elbow? It is a condition typically associated with those playing tennis, hence the name, which causes pain around the outside of the elbow and known clinically as lateral epicondylitis.
Each sport has a list of common injuries incurred and tennis is no different.
Playing tennis places a lot of strain on the forearm, more so than would normally be involved in any other daily activity, therefore it is this strain which can have an impact on the elbow joint and the muscles and tendons around it.
If you believe you are suffering from tennis elbow then there are a number of warning signs to look out for.
Sufferers typically complain of pain in the area just above the bend of the elbow, which is the outside of your upper forearm.
You could also feel pain when lifting your arm or bending it, regardless of what you are carrying, if anything.
You may also feel unable to complete simple tasks without experiencing discomfort, such as holding a pen or opening a door.
All of these symptoms are signs that you are suffering from such an injury and you should seek to remedy it.
The injury itself is down to the overuse of muscles around the elbow, the same muscles which are used to work your entire arm, wrist and fingers.
The overuse of these muscles can hinder your ability to straighten your arm or use your fingers properly.
Whilst tennis elbow is normally attributed to being a tennis injury, it can occur as a result of decorating or playing the violin.
In all three activities there is a reliance on using the elbow joint and movement of the forearm.
It should not be confused with that of golfers elbow in which sufferers experience pain on the inside of the elbow rather than on the outside.
The best form of treatment for this type of injury is rest, as it is a self-limiting condition and will invariably get better over time.
Of course, if you're eager to get back on the court or get a paint brush in your hand then time can be your worst enemy.
You can speed up rehabilitation however through a number of activities.
As the injury causes swelling to the affected muscles and tendons you should look to use ice to appease this, which will also be a relief to the sufferer.
The swelling should also reduce the pain, however taking pain killers will help this.
Physiotherapy is another way to help massage the joint and get you back onto the court faster.
This will allow the muscles to be worked out and become stronger to prevent subsequent injury in the future.
One increasingly popular method of living with tennis elbow is through the use of a brace or support, providing compression therapy for the treatment of tennis elbow.
A simple band can be placed over the affected area and offer compression where it is needed most which can allow the sufferer to play for longer, whilst combatting inflammation and reducing swelling.
Whilst it cannot be prevented, the use of a brace or support can offer additional protection against potential injury as well as acting as a post injury support.

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