True or False? Only tennis players can get tennis elbow.
If you guessed false you were correct…
Only 5% of those diagnosed with tennis elbow are actually tennis players. In fact, tennis elbow can affect anyone who overuses their arm, forearm, or hand muscles.
What is Tennis Elbow?
Every time you pick up your phone, open a door, swing your golf club, push, or pull, you are using your elbow. Performing repetitive arm motions like the ones listed above can cause wear and tear in the elbow and can result in mild to excruciating pain.
While elbow pain is not always tennis elbow, tennis elbow is the most common elbow-related condition. It is caused by either abrupt or subtle injury to the muscle and tendon around the outside of the elbow. Tennis elbow refers to pain specifically where the forearm attach to the outside bony area (called the lateral epicondyle) of the elbow.
What are the Symptoms of Tennis Elbow?
- Pain around the outside of the elbow. The pain can happen gradually or all at once.
- Pain that worsens when shaking hands or squeezing objects.
- Pain that worsens when stabilizing or moving the wrist with force (e.g. lifting, using tools, opening jars, or even handling items like a fork, toothbrush or knife)
Ways to Relieve Tennis Elbow Pain
- Apply ice to the elbow for 15 minutes every hour until swelling subsides. This will help temporarily reduce acute pain.
- Tape or brace your elbow to help reduce stressing the muscles and tendons further. Taping will help decrease pain, reduce risk of future aggravation and help the elbow heal.
- According to acupuncturist Jessica Zerr, Acupuncture is an effective treatment for tennis elbow because it directly targets the muscles and tendons affected by overuse. It helps the tight muscles to relax and increases blood flow to the area, which in turn promotes the healing process.”
- Chiropractic adjustments can also help tennis elbow. Elbow problems can be caused by spinal stress. How? The elbow is able to move because of nerves that control its action; those nerves emerge from the spine, and travel down the arm. If a spinal subluxation (misalignment) is causing the elbow nerves to lose full function, elbow problems and pain can result. If the elbow condition was caused by a direct elbow injury, spinal subluxations can worsen the condition.
How to Prevent Tennis Elbow
- Remember to warm up and cool down before and after working out or participating in sports..
- Make sure you use good technique and proper equipment! Ask someone to check your form to make sure you are not at risk of injuring yourself.
- Do strengthening exercises with hand weights – to strengthen your arms, specifically your wrists. Try these exercises.
- Avoid or modify work tasks that put excessive pressure on muscles of the forearm or that include the use of fingers. If you are working at a computer all day, give your hands a break from typing every once and while.
If you or someone you know suffers from tennis elbow, book an appointment today! You don’t have to live in pain. Get back to doing the sports and activities you love. Click here to book an appointment.
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