Tennis elbow is a term given to a condition that refers to pain in the arm and especially the elbow area due to overuse of the muscles surrounding the joint. The name comes from the wide number of tennis players who experience this pain because of the torque and pressure the joints that this sport causes. However, this is a common condition and not limited only to athletes and tennis players. In fact, this type of pain can come from any overuse of the arms from too much typing with improper hand and arm placement to working highly active movement jobs like busy convenience stores, fast food, or even factory jobs.
While we’re going to go into some of the common causes and helpful treatments for tennis elbow it’s very important to note that this article is informational in nature and should not be construed at all as actual medical advice because it’s not. If you injured yourself and the pain persists, check with a doctor to make sure it’s not a more serious injury. No article or amount of information should ever take the place of firsthand knowledge from a physician.
What are the common causes of tennis elbow?
The most common cause of tennis elbow is overuse of the muscles and ligaments surrounding the elbow. This condition affects people who must work using repetitive arm, shoulder, and elbow movements and gets its name because while only 1 to 3% of the population ever experiences tennis elbow, nearly 50% of tennis players experience this sometime in their career. This being said, less than 5% of all cases of tennis elbow actually come from playing tennis, making this condition much more common than many people realize.
The overuse of those muscles due to repetitive motion is what causes this condition. This is extremely important to understand, because it’s a long term injury that results from over stressing those muscles over and over again and it is not caused by one single event or one single injury. Because of this, early soreness or pain should be treated very seriously.
What is the treatment for tennis elbow?
The good news is that tennis elbow almost never requires surgery, and treating the condition early can lead to a complete recovery. For some extreme cases cortisone injections are used, but often times less extreme measures can work. The key is to reduce the usage of the elbow, give the joint plenty of rest, and reduce inflammation. In minor cases this can mean that ibuprofen might be enough medication to help out, along with cold followed by heat and simply resting the limb more often. Even if that turns out to not be enough for your tennis elbow, it’s good treatment that you should practice anyway.