TENNIS ELBOW

Description

  • Painful inflammation of the elbow joint caused by repetitive stress
  • Tiny tears and inflammation develop near the lateral epicondyle
  • Also known as Epicondylitis

Symptoms

  • Pain on the outside of the upper forearm, just below the elbow
  • Pain when lifting or bending the arm
  • Pain when writing or gripping small objects
  • A weak grip
  • Increased pain when shaking hands or squeezing an object
  • Elbow pain that is mild at first but gradually gets worse

Causes

  • Banging or knocking the elbow
  • Playing tennis,especially repeated use of the backhand stroke
  • Frequently using a screwdriver, hammer, or computer
  • Cutting up cooking ingredients, particularly meat
  • Activities that involve repeatedly bending the elbow
  • Activities that involve fine, repetitive hand and wrist movements
  • Manual work – such as plumbing or bricklaying

Risk Factors

  • Most common in adults between the ages of 30 and 50
  • People with jobs that involve repetitive motions of the wrist and arm
  • Participating in racket sports

Diagnostic test

  • Physical exam to check movement of wrist, elbow and fingers
  • X-ray
  • MRI Scan

Treatments

  • Rest the injured arm
  • Stop doing the activity that caused the problem
  • Physiotherapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Shock wave therapy
  • Ultrasonic tenotomy (TENEX procedure)

Medications

  • Paracetamol
  • Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID)
  • Ibuprofen and aspirin

Prevention

  • Performing exercises that maintain the strength of the forearm
  • Icing the elbow following intense physical activity
  • Use ice or cold packs
  • Using proper technique for activities

Lifestyle Management

  • Before playing a sport, warm up properly and stretch
  • Wear a tennis elbow splint when using the arm
  • Avoid repetitive wrist motions
  • Exercise regularly
  • Have a healthy and proper diet to maintain weight
  • Exercise to build up forearm muscles