The condition tennis elbow received this name because it is a very common injury among tennis players.
Its characteristics include a soreness or sharp pain on the outer region of the elbow. This condition occurs when the tendons that connect the muscles of the forearm and elbow are damaged.
The condition can become very serious if not treated, and after a while, it will be hard to perform even the simplest tasks that involve turning the elbow.
Even though most know the condition as tennis elbow, the doctor may refer to it as lateral epicondylitis.
The condition results from an overuse of the tendons that connect the arm and elbow. When a person is performing an activity in which the twisting or the arm is performed over and over again, then they are very likely to become victims of the condition. When there is too much stress being put on the tendons, a small tear occurs, which leads to pain in the elbow area. Also, an injury such as a fall onto the elbow or a direct blow can result in pain and damage of the tendons.
A person does not have to be a tennis player to develop the condition however, it can result from everyday activities done around the house that are very repetitive in the nature, as far as the use of the arm is concerned. Activities such as painting, gardening, or even using a screwdriver, can lead to tennis elbow.
Normally, tennis elbow appears in middle-aged people.
In order to diagnose the condition, a person will probably have to make a visit to the doctor’s office. The doctor will usually examine the elbow and ask the person what kind of pain and discomfort he or she is feeling. The doctor will also ask about daily routines, activities, and past injuries related to that area, if there are any.
An x-ray will probably not be needed, but it would not be a bad idea to get one just in case, because it will help to identify and diagnose the tennis elbow much easier.
The best thing to do in order to heal up is to rest a lot. The fingers, wrists and forearm muscles should be fairly inactive for a period of time, in order to allow the tendon to heal.
The recovery time will, of course, depend on the severity of the injury, and could last weeks or even months in some cases.
It is important to keep the elbow on ice, putting ice packs on its at least three times a day for as long as the pain, swelling and inflammation persists.
There are also elbow braces that can be bought to support the elbow and help protect if there is no way to stop doing activities that involve the use of the elbow, for example, if your job depends on some kind of repetitive arm movement.