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Tennis Elbow: Watch Out, It's Not Just from Playing Tennis

By HERWriter
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Tennis Elbow  related image MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

When you think of tennis elbow, you probably picture someone holding -- or dropping -- a tennis racket. But in actual fact, only about 5 percent of tennis elbow patients ended up that way after playing tennis.

Aside from swinging a racket repeatedly, tennis elbow can be caused by repetitive movements of the arms, of many kinds. Overworked tendons and muscles are the culprits, or the victims, in these scenarios.

Webmd.com said that tennis elbow can occur when you play racquetball or squash, when you lift weights, and in the unusual event that you are fencing too frequently.

Sports aren't the only things that can cause tennis elbow. Repetitive movements like typing, raking, knitting can also lead to this painful and limiting condition.

Deposits of calcium or hemmorhage in the tissues are sources of pain. A protein called collagen puts pressure on the radial nerve due to inflammation.

Because the muscles in your hands and arms are controlled by your radial nerve, using your arms and hands can be a misery and may be impossible until the condition clears up.

Tennis elbow also goes by the name "lateral epicondylitis", a condition which causes damage to the outer, or lateral, area of your elbow.

Pain hits below the elbow, at the top external area of your forearm. It then radiates painfully down your arm.

You can be laid up with tennis elbow for approximately 6 to 12 weeks. You can speed up this recovery time or slow it down by being smart and not using your arm or being impatient and trying to do everything you normally do.

To be smart, you need to change what you are doing. You must let your arm rest till the pain subsides. Later, massage and careful exercise may help recovery.

Patience is imperative because you have torn muscles and/or ligaments. The area can remain weakened and prone to being hurt again in the future even after the tears have healed.

Webmd.com recommended applying ice to the swelling for 20 to 30 minutes every three or four hours. Do this for two or three days, or longer if pain remains. An elbow strap can offer some protection to your elbow.

Add a Comment2 Comments


This can be very debilitating when it flares up. Thanks for sharing.

Marielaina Perrone DDS
Henderson Cosmetic Dentist

October 6, 2012 - 10:38am
EmpowHER Guest

Very good information on Tennis Elbow! If you are looking for a self help program for tennis elbow developed by hand therapists, check out www.TreatYourselfTherapy.com/tennis-elbow.

August 31, 2012 - 2:19pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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