What is Tendinitis / Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is a painful condition of the elbow joint that results from overuse of the elbow. The tendons and muscles of the elbow become inflamed due to repetitive movements leading to pain and stiffness. It may or may not be acquired by playing tennis, but can also occur from occupations and several other sport activities which exert large amounts of strain on the elbow. If untreated, chronic pain and stiffness may radiate to your wrist, forearm, or neck and cause permanent disability.
Lateral Epicondylitis, or Tennis Elbow, is a condition of the elbow which causes inflammation from the wrist to the outside elbow and degeneration of the tendons of the elbow. The tendons attach to the lateral epicondyle, the bony bump on the outer side of the elbow.
Tennis Elbow is a common sports injury, especially in the game of Tennis, due to the repetitive use of the wrist and elbow when hitting a tennis ball, hence the name “Tennis Elbow”. You don’t have to be a tennis player to get tennis elbow, as repeated use of the forearm and elbow for many other occupational activities such as painting, typing, weaving, and gardening can also result in lateral epicondylitis.
Your doctor diagnoses tennis elbow after reviewing your medical and occupational history, and performing a complete physical examination. Flexion and extension tests of the elbow are done to assess the pain level. Investigations such as x-rays may be necessary to rule out any fractures or other disease conditions. Rarely, MRI may be ordered.
What are the symptoms of Tennis Elbow?
The symptoms of Tennis Elbow vary depending on the severity of the condition. The most common symptoms of Tennis Elbow include:
- Pain in or around the elbow
- Pain on the outside of the forearm
- Pain that radiates towards the wrist
- Pain when bending your arm
- Difficulty using your wrist and arm for normal activities such as turning a door handle
- While Tennis Elbow may seem like a small issue, it must be treated in order to prevent it from getting worse. If left untreated, Tennis Elbow may require surgery.
How to treat Tennis Elbow?
Mild cases of tennis elbow can be managed by conservative treatment. Surgery is indicated in case of severe pain and stiffness of the elbow joint.
Various non-surgical modes of treatment include:
- Rest: Complete restriction of activities for a few weeks to lessen strain on your elbow.
- Elbow straps, braces or splints may be used to support the elbow and minimize the excessive stress on the damaged tendons and muscles. Medications: Take medications as prescribed by your doctor to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Physical or occupational therapy: Learn appropriate hand exercises that help strengthen your forearm muscles. Various modalities of physical therapy such as massage, ultrasound, and muscle stimulation may also be performed to improve the affected muscle strength.
- Use proper equipment (for instance, tennis racquet – proper size and string tension) for sports activities to help reduce the symptoms.
- Apply ice bags wrapped in a towel over the affected elbow for 15-20 minute intervals to help alleviate any potential tenderness and swelling.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection contains a concentration of many different growth factors that appear to reduce inflammation and promote healing. These types of injections tend to work better in people whose knee pain is caused by tendon tears, sprains or injury.
Stem Cell Therapy for knees is minimally invasive. It’s a procedure that can decrease inflammation, slow and repair all these forms of damage from arthritis, and delay or prevent knee replacement surgery
Microcurrent Therapy helps injured tissue heal faster and provides relief from pain caused by injury or chronic conditions. Your body has a natural electrical current that provides intercellular communication through electromagnetic signaling. When you have an injury, this signaling is disrupted or diminished. Without the proper electromagnetic signals, your cells cannot do their job efficiently.