According to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, more than half of the people who play racket sports will develop tennis elbow. However, the other remaining half diagnosed with tennis elbow will have the ailment because of the repeated gripping or twisting motion of the muscles in the forearm.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states, ʺTennis elbow is inflammation, soreness, or pain on the outside (lateral) side of the upper arm near the elbow.ʺ
The inflammation and pain of tennis elbow is due to the small tears in the tendons near the elbow.
Symptoms of tennis elbow include:
• Insufficient forearm functional strength
• Forearm muscle tightness
• Weak grasp
• Difficulty holding onto, pinching, or gripping objects
• Elbow pain that gradually worsens
• Point tenderness at or near the insertion sites of the muscles of the lateral or medial elbow
• Pain radiating from the outside of the elbow to the forearm and back of the hand when grasping or twisting
• Pain, stiffness, or insufficient elbow and hand movement
Tennis elbow treatment includes: activity and/or equipment modification, rest, medication, physical therapy, a tennis elbow brace, shockwave therapy, brace, cortisone or other injections and/or surgery.
Rest is the key for tennis elbow. The NIH recommends resting your elbow for two-three weeks. If the injury is sports related, you may want to try the following:
• Cut back on the sport and allow your injury to heal
• Check your equipment or try different equipment
• Make changes in your technique to alleviate pressure on the elbow
The America Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) recommends a tennis elbow brace. This brace can be purchased at any sports or drug store. According to ASSH, ʺa band worn over the muscle of the forearm, just below the elbow, can reduce the tension on the tendon and allow it to heal.ʺ
When it comes to tennis elbow treatment, the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma (NISMAT) recommend the R.I.C.E. principle. R.I.C.E. stands for rest, ice (two or three times per day), compress and elevate.