-Cyprus Orthopaedics

Tennis elbow symptoms

Tennis elbow symptoms-Cyprus Orthopaedics

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a common condition that causes pain and discomfort in the outer part of the elbow. Despite its name, tennis elbow can affect anyone, not just tennis players. This condition occurs due to the overuse or repetitive strain of the forearm muscles, particularly those responsible for extending and stabilizing the wrist. Understanding the symptoms of tennis elbow is crucial for early detection and effective treatment.

What Causes Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is often caused by repetitive motions of the forearm and wrist. Activities such as playing tennis, painting, typing, or using hand tools can put strain on the tendons that connect the muscles of the forearm to the bone. The repetitive stress placed on the tendons causes microscopic tears and leads to the proliferation of fibroblasts and small vessels with production of disorganized collagen. Hence the term epicondylitis that suggests an inflammatory process is a misnomer. This process has been named angiofibroblastic hyperplasia and results in pain and limited mobility.

Tennis elbow symptoms-Cyprus Orthopaedics

Common Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

One of the primary symptoms of tennis elbow is pain and tenderness on the outer side of the elbow. This pain may radiate downwards into the forearm and worsen with activities that involve gripping or lifting objects. You may also experience weakness in your grip strength, making it difficult to perform simple tasks like opening a jar or shaking hands. Swelling and stiffness around the elbow joint can also be present. It’s important to note that the symptoms of tennis elbow can vary in intensity from mild discomfort to severe pain that affects daily activities.

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How to Diagnose Tennis Elbow

Diagnosing tennis elbow typically involves a thorough examination of your medical history and physical assessment. Your doctor will assess the affected area, checking for specific points of tenderness and pain. They may also perform certain maneuvers to reproduce your symptoms, such as extending your wrist against resistance. Imaging tests like X-rays or MRI scans are not usually necessary for diagnosing tennis elbow, but they may be ordered to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms

Treatment Options for Tennis Elbow

The initial treatment for tennis elbow involves conservative measures aimed at reducing pain and promoting healing. Resting the affected arm and avoiding activities that exacerbate the symptoms is crucial. Applying ice packs to the affected area can help reduce inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also be recommended to alleviate pain and swelling. Physical therapy exercises focusing on strengthening and stretching the forearm muscles are essential for long-term recovery. In severe cases, your doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections or other specialized treatments to relieve pain and promote healing.

Tennis elbow symptoms-Cyprus Orthopaedics

Preventing Tennis Elbow

Preventing tennis elbow can be achieved by practicing certain precautions and adopting proper techniques. When engaging in activities that involve repetitive arm movements, it is important to take regular breaks and avoid overexertion. Using the appropriate equipment and ensuring a proper fit can also help prevent tennis elbow. Warming up before any physical activity and performing specific exercises to strengthen the forearm muscles can reduce the risk of developing this condition. It is also crucial to maintain good overall physical fitness and flexibility to prevent unnecessary strain on the tendons.

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When to See a Doctor for Tennis Elbow Symptoms

If you experience persistent pain and discomfort in your elbow that doesn’t improve with rest and self-care measures, it is advisable to consult a doctor. Seek medical attention if your symptoms interfere with daily activities or if you notice significant swelling, redness, or warmth around the affected area. A doctor can provide an accurate diagnosis, recommend appropriate treatment options, and help prevent further complications

Conclusion

Tennis elbow is a common condition that can cause significant pain and discomfort. Understanding the symptoms of tennis elbow, such as pain on the outer side of the elbow, weakness in grip strength, and difficulty performing everyday tasks, is crucial for early detection and treatment. If you experience symptoms of tennis elbow, it is important to rest, apply ice packs, and avoid activities that worsen the pain. Seeking medical attention when necessary and following the recommended treatment options can help alleviate symptoms and promote healing. By adopting preventive measures and practicing proper techniques, you can reduce the risk of developing tennis elbow and enjoy a pain-free lifestyle.

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