Fall is still a great time for a little tennis in Show Low. So, it seems apropos to talk about the pain that can be involved with tennis elbow. This inflammation of the tendons in the elbow can make it painful to shake hands, turn a doorknob, or even hold a coffee cup.
At Summit Healthcare, we diagnose and treat tennis elbow, usually with conservative methods.
What is tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow is a painful condition that comes from the tendons around the elbow being overused. The pain of tennis elbow primarily occurs where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to a bony bump on the outside of your elbow, the lateral epicondyle. The pain can spread from there into the forearm and wrist.
Although named for tennis players, certain jobs can also lead to this inflammation. Repetitive motions are to blame, and so tennis elbow can be a problem for plumbers, painters, carpenters, and butchers.
What are the causes of tennis elbow?
The inflammation of tennis elbow is due to the repeated contraction of the forearm muscles that you use to straighten and raise your hand and wrist. The repeated use and stress can lead to a series of tiny tears in the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the outside of the elbow. This results in inflammation and pain.
These motions can lead to tennis elbow:
- Playing tennis, particularly with back form on the backhand
- Manually driving screws
- Cutting up meat
- Repetitive use of a computer mouse
At Summit Healthcare, Dr. Trujillo will start with conservative treatments. Obviously rest and icing are the first treatments. Anti-inflammatory medicines and over-the-counter pain relievers are usually sufficient to manage the pain and attempt to reduce inflammation. Technique used for what you are doing, for instance using a drill to drive screws instead of manually, or changing your tennis stroke, can help.
If those methods don’t improve your pain and weakness, there are some injection options: platelet-rich plasma, prolotherapy, steroid injections, and even Botox in some cases.
Does your elbow hurt every time you hit that backhand? Call us at Summit Healthcare, (928) 532-1605 and let’s get ahead of the pain.