What Causes Tennis Elbow?

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Tennis Elbow is a painful condition that is also known as “Lateral Epicondylitis”. This condition can occur when the tendons in the elbow become overloaded. The condition is thought to be caused by repetitive arm and wrist movements.

The Main Causes of Tennis Elbow

While the name of this condition seems to imply that only those who play tennis suffer from it, this is not the case at all. Many people in a wide range of professions can suffer from Tennis Elbow. These include butchers, painters, carpenters, and plumbers. Other causes of tennis elbow can include:

  • Repeatedly using hand tools such as scissors, garden shears, or a screwdriver
  • Any activity that involves repeated elbow bending such as playing the violin
  • Using tools while laying bricks, plumbing, or decorating
  • Playing racquet sports such as badminton, tennis, or squash
  • Playing sports that involve a lot of throwing, such as discus or javelin

Treating Tennis Elbow

There is a lot of help with tennis elbow available. This condition can be quite painful so it’s likely that treatment will be required. The good news is that this condition can get better if you don’t have treatment. However, it can take a lot longer for someone to recover if the injury isn’t treated.

One of the most important things that you can do to help your recovery is to rest your arm. You should also stop partaking in the activity that caused the injury. Most people tend to make a recovery from this condition within a year. However, Tennis Elbow can take between 6 months and 2 years to heal.

Taking Painkillers

Painkillers can help with Tennis Elbow. Over-the-counter medication may help to ease the pain and reduce inflammation. In addition to taking painkillers, you may want to consider using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. NSAIDs are sold by pharmacists in tablet, gel, or cream form. The gels and creams can be applied to the painful area.

Anti-inflammatory medication that comes in the form of tablets can cause a few side effects. However, if you use a gel or a cream, you’ll likely to get just as much efficacy without the nasty side effects. Please note, some anti-inflammatory medication is only available on prescription.

Physical Therapy and Other Treatments

Physical therapists can help with Tennis Elbow, especially if the pain is persistent and severe. If you’re told by your doctor that you need to see a physical therapist, the therapist could use a range of manipulation and massage techniques. These techniques could help to relieve your pain while encouraging the flow of blood to your arm. You may also be asked to wear a support bandage or brace. For those who are in a lot of pain, steroid injections could be recommended. Alternatively, shockwave therapy may be used.

While Tennis Elbow can occasionally get better without treatment, treatment can help this condition to heal faster. If you think you have elbow, please speak to a health professional so your pain and swelling can be treated quickly.

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