Tennis Elbow: Symptoms and Treatment Options

November 3, 2017 in Our News & Bulletins by Primary Spine & Rehab

Lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as “tennis elbow”, is a repetitive strain injury that can happen around the elbow joint. The condition usually starts as a small, dull ache and gradually builds to a more serious, chronic pain. Symptoms include swelling of the elbow and weakening grip. It’s a common source of elbow pain. Below are some of the risk factors and treatment options for tennis elbow.

Despite the name, tennis is not the most common reason people develop it. In fact, only about 5% of cases are tennis-related. However, anyone who has a job that requires repetitive motion of the forearm is at risk. Such professions include carpenters, mechanics, plumbers, painters, butchers, cooks, assembly-line workers, and even politicians shaking too many hands this time of year. Also, playing some musical instruments can put one at risk. However, there are some cases where people can develop tennis elbow without repetitive injury.

Most people who develop tennis elbow are between the ages of 30-50, so age is a factor, too.

The good news is that, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, around 80-85% of cases get better with nonsurgical treatment. One major treatment is rest. Stop doing the repetitive motion until the injury heals. Physical therapists can treat tennis elbow as well. There are specific exercises for strengthening the elbow that can help. There are also other therapy techniques such as certain massages to help improve healing.

If you are having elbow pain, we can help. We can sit down with you and discuss your issues and treatment options going forward.

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