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How to Identify and Treat Tennis Elbow Symptoms

Tennis elbow is a common injury that affects millions of people each year. This injury can be painful and debilitating, and if left untreated, it can become chronic. It is caused by overuse of the tendons in the elbow, leading to inflammation and pain.

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the elbow. Any activity that involves repetitive motion of the arm, such as typing, gardening, or using a screwdriver, can lead to tennis elbow.

While tennis elbow is more common in people who are over the age of 30, it can affect anyone who engages in repetitive activities.

Signs and Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

The most common sign of tennis elbow is pain on the outside of the elbow that worsens when you grip, twist, or lift objects. The pain may be mild at first, but can become severe and persistent over time. You may also experience tenderness and swelling around the elbow, as well as stiffness in the forearm and wrist.

Other symptoms of tennis elbow can include:

- Weakness in the forearm and wrist
- Numbness or tingling in the fingers
- Difficulty gripping objects
- Pain that radiates from the elbow down to the forearm and wrist

Treatment Options for Tennis Elbow

If you suspect that you have tennis elbow, the first step is to consult with a medical professional who can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment options. Here are some of the most common treatments for tennis elbow:

1. Rest and ice: In the early stages of tennis elbow, it’s important to rest the affected area and apply ice to reduce pain and swelling. You may also be advised to wear a brace or band to help support the arm and prevent further damage.

2. Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help to strengthen the muscles in your forearm and wrist, improve flexibility, and reduce pain. Your therapist may use a combination of stretching exercises, massage, and other techniques to help you recover.

3. Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and aspirin can help to reduce pain and inflammation associated with tennis elbow. In more severe cases, your doctor may prescribe stronger pain medication or a steroid injection to help manage pain and swelling.

4. Surgery: In rare cases, surgery may be required to repair damage to the tendons in the elbow. This may be necessary if conservative treatments have failed to provide relief or if there is a complete tear of the tendon.

5. Lifestyle modifications: To prevent further damage to the tendons in your elbow, it’s important to modify your daily activities. This may include using ergonomic tools, taking frequent breaks, and avoiding activities that put stress on the arm and wrist.


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