People commonly believe that only tennis players suffer from tennis elbow. The mistake these people make may be related to the very name of the condition. The condition involves soreness and tenderness of the outer part of the elbow. It basically develops as a consequence of any activity which includes gripping something and making repetitive wrist and elbow movements.
Tennis Elbow is not Just a Sport Injury
Tennis elbow does actually affect athletes playing racket sports most but it can also affect other athletes as well as people who are not engaged in any kind of sports activity. It may occur in painters, people who frequently trim trees or those who excessively use screw drivers and fastening clamps. Tennis elbow may actually occur in all people who extensively use their elbow or are engaged in activities which include repetitive movements of this joint.
The symptoms of the condition develop as a consequence of strain or damage to a tendon attached to the bone on the outer side of the elbow. Strain or damage leads to inflammation of the affected tendon. Even though the condition is also medically referred to as lateral epicondylitis the fact is that this part of the elbow is not affected by inflammation. The inflammatory process only affects the tendon attached to the lateral epycondyle of the elbow. The symptoms of tennis elbow are associated with inflammation and commonly include pain and tenderness of the elbow. Furthermore, there may be a visible swelling around the elbow, while the pain may vary in intensity and change according to the activities performed with the affected arm.
Pain in Arm above Elbow
Only after a person is faced with the incapability of moving the arms, he or she learns how to appreciate these extremities more, because until then, the person takes them for granted. The pain in the arm above the elbow can vary from moderate to severe, and in some cases it can be so strong that a person finds it difficult to even raise the arm. The causes of painful sensation can be various, and while in some cases the pain occurs as a result of a simple injury or sprained muscle, in others the cause of the pain may be related to much more serious conditions.
For instance, pain above the elbow can appear due to bone fractures and under such circumstances it is often accompanied by inflammation of the area that surrounds the injured bone. If a nerve has been damaged as well, numbness in the arm, loss of the control over the arm, irritation and swelling can appear, and the condition may sometimes even lead to paralysis. A nerve can be damaged in an accident, a contact sport or even due to a bad fall. Tendons may also be inflamed, which is characterized by symptoms such as swelling of the arm joints and the pain in the arm above the elbow. Muscle injuries such as overstretching are additional reasons behind pain above the elbow. The most common injuries of this type happen during repetitions of certain movements and they are usually connected with some sport activity. Tenderness, swelling and stiffness of the arm muscles above the elbow are the main symptoms associated with common types of such injuries. Finally, strong pain in the arm above the elbow can appear due to heartburn. Diseases like arthritis may also cause this kind of pain.
Treatment Options for Pain in Arm above Elbow
In many cases when the cause of pain in the arm above the elbow is not a serious injury, it subsides spontaneously and there is no need for medical attention. Resting and putting ice compresses on the painful spot may relieve the pain. Still, if the pain continues for a longer time than expected or becomes more severe, the person is recommended to visit a doctor for the final diagnosis.
Elbow Braces for Tennis Elbow
It is essential for people suffering from tennis elbow to take proper care and certain measures once they experience pain in order to prevent further complications and damage. X-ray of the elbow does not have to point to the presence of tendon inflammation. In some cases patients are prescribed pain killers and anti-inflammatory medications. The most common treatment option for those who suffer from tennis elbow is the elbow brace. This brace is widely available, can be purchased virtually anywhere and is easy to install. The person only needs to slide and place the brace over the affected elbow. The role of the brace is to strengthen the arm, absorb shock and vibrations, and spread the tension which occurs during various types of activities. The elbow brace is not supposed to be worn only when pain occurs, but also during repetitive movements in order to prevent the occurrence of pain.