Tennis Elbow Is No Joke

Tennis elbow is actually a serious condition that can cause sufferers a great deal of pain. However, tennis elbow can happen to anyone who overuses the tendons in their forearm and the pain is no joke. If you notice symptoms in this area of your arm, you need to seek treatment.

Causes and Symptoms

Repetitive motion, such as hitting tennis balls, can cause tennis elbow. However, you can develop the condition from non-sports activities. If you are in construction, for instance, the constant gripping and swinging of a hammer may cause the problem. Landscaping workers can also develop it by using clippers on a regular basis.  

You may have tennis elbow if you wake up with a stiff and sore arm every day. In particular, the bony part of your elbow will be tender, and you may have problems picking up and grasping objects. The symptoms range from annoying to agonizing, so a variety of treatments are used. 

Diagnosis and Treatment

Your physician will perform various tests to see if you do suffer from tennis elbow. They will likely use X-rays, MRIs, and EMGs to rule out other conditions that could be causing you pain, such as arthritis and nerve compression. The doctor will also gauge whether you are able to exert your arm against opposing pressure. All of these factors will be taken into consideration before you are given a diagnosis.

Treatment of this condition can be as simple as a period of rest. Doctors will also often prescribe a series of exercises to strengthen your muscles, sometimes combined with wearing a brace to give your arm extra support. When these less invasive treatments do not work, you may need surgery. In that case, an orthopedic surgeon will take out the damaged tissue so that you can regain your arm function after a period of rehabilitation. Doctors tend to resort to surgery only after other treatments fail over the course of six months or more. 

Racquet sports are often the cause of tennis elbow, but any sport or task that puts constant strain on the tendons of your forearm can cause this inflammation and damage. Although the condition can sometimes be treated at home, a doctor's intervention can speed recovery. Also, in some cases, surgery might be needed. If you have persistent pain in this area, seek help from a medical professional like Interior Alaska Orthopedic & Sports Medicine.