Tennis Elbow Is Not for Tennis Players Only

May 2, 2022
Tennis Elbow Is Not for Tennis Players Only

You don't have to play tennis or other sports to get tennis elbow. In fact, you are more likely to get tennis elbow from knitting a sweater than playing a round of doubles.

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a common but painful condition caused by overusing or straining your arm. This can create inflammation or tears in the tendon that attaches your forearm to your elbow joint. You can get tennis elbow from performing repetitive activities such as typing, knitting, golfing, exercising or even carrying heavy items.

3 Steps to Ease Tennis Elbow Pain

Time and patience help people with tennis elbow to find relief. Try these three steps to help your recovery:

  1. Rest your elbow. Give your elbow time to heal.
  2. Identify pain triggers. Do certain repetitive motions cause pain? Is your arm or elbow in a particular position when you feel increased pain? Make note of these triggers and try to limit them.
  3. Modify your movements. Learn to use proper mechanics. Lifting items with your palm up and using your biceps can decrease pain.

Treatments for Tennis Elbow

If you still have pain after resting and modifying your movements, talk to a specialist about other treatments, including:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Ice and topical analgesics
  • Proper exercises for four to six weeks (or longer, if your condition is chronic) to build strength
  • Corticosteroid injection
  • Elbow bracing
  • Surgery (About 1 percent of tennis elbow cases require surgery)

How to Prevent Tennis Elbow

Repetitive movements create higher demands on your muscles and tendons, so if your work or activities require them, be aware that you are more susceptible to injury.

  • Examine your work area and arrange items so that you don't have to reach so far for things.
  • Limit the number of times you bend your wrist and elbow.
  • Make motions smooth and less jerky.
  • Change your position frequently.

Speak with a Specialist

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