Tennis elbow is a tendinitis of the tendon that causes pain in the elbow and arm. These tendons are bands of tough tissue that connect the lower arm muscles to the bone. Any repetitive fascinating activities, especially if they use the thumb and first two fingers, may contribute to tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is the most common reason people see their physicians for elbow pain. It can put up in people of any age, but tennis elbow symptoms most frequently arise at the age of 40.
The elbow joint is a joint made up of three bones: your upper arm bone (humerus) and the two bones in your forearm (radius and ulna). There are bony bumps at the bottom of the humerus called the epicondyle. It calls the bony bump on the outside (lateral side) the lateral epicondyle. Muscles, ligaments, and tendons keep the elbow joint simultaneously.
Lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, involves the muscles and tendons of the forearm. Forearm muscles extend the wrist and fingers. It calls the tendon usually involved in tennis elbow the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis (ECRB).
Tennis Elbow Causes
Usually, tennis elbow causes by an overuse injury. It takes place when the muscles and tendons in your forearm are strained because of repetitive or strenuous activity. Activities that can cause tennis elbow-
- Playing sports such as tennis, badminton or squash.
- Throwing sports such as the javelin or discus.
- Using shears while gardening.
- Using a paintbrush or roller while decorating.
- Manual work such as plumbing or bricklaying.
- Activities that involve repetitive hand and wrist movements, such as using scissors or typing.
- Other movements that involve often bending the elbow, such as playing the violin.
Playing racquet sports raises your chance of developing tennis elbow, especially if you play for the first time in a long time. However, only 5 out of 100 people get tennis elbow from playing racquet sports.
Tennis Elbow Symptoms
The tennis elbow symptoms develop gradually. In most instances, the pain begins as mild and slowly worsens over weeks and months. There is no specific injury associated with the start of symptoms. Common symptoms of tennis elbow include:
- Pain or burning sensation on the outer part of your elbow
- Weak grip strength
It often worsens the symptoms with forearm activity, such as holding a racquet, turning a wrench, or shaking hands. Your dominant arm is most usually affected; However, both arms can be affected.
Tennis Elbow Diagnosis
Your physician will consider many factors in making a diagnosis. These embody, however, your symptoms developed, any occupational risk factors, and recreational sports participation. During the examination, your physician will employ a variety of tests to pinpoint the diagnosis.
For example, your physician may ask you to straighten your wrist and fingers against resistance with your arm fully straight to see if this causes pain. If the tests are positive, it’s that those muscles might not be healthy.
Your physician may recommend additional tests to rule out other causes-
- X-rays- These tests offer clear pictures of dense structures like bone. It may take to rule out arthritis of the elbow.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan- If your physician thinks your symptoms are linked to a neck problem, they may order an MRI scan. MRI scans show details of soft tissues and will help your physician to see if you have a possible herniated disk or arthritis in your neck. Both conditions often produce arm pain.
- Electromyography (EMG)– Your physician may order an EMG to rule out nerve compression. Many nerves travel around the elbow, and the symptoms of nerve compression are like those of tennis elbow.
Tennis Elbow Treatment
1. Nonsurgical Treatment
Almost 80% to 95% of patients have success with nonsurgical treatment.
- Rest is the first step toward recovery is to give your arm proper rest. This means you will have to stop participating in sports or heavy work activities for several weeks.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen reduce pain and swelling.
- Physical therapy – Specific exercises are useful for strengthening the muscles of the forearm. Your therapist may also perform an ultrasound, ice massage, or muscle-stimulating techniques to improve muscle healing.
- Using a tennis elbow brace over the back of your forearm may also assist relieve symptoms of tennis elbow. This can reduce symptoms by resting the muscles and tendons.
- Steroids, such as cortisone, are effective anti-inflammatory medicines. Your physician may inject the painful area around your lateral epicondyle with a steroid to ease your symptoms.
- Extracorporeal shock wave therapy. Shock wave therapy sends sound waves to the elbow.
These sound waves produce “microtrauma” that promotes the body’s natural healing processes. It considers a shock wave therapy experiment by many physicians, but some sources show it can be effective.
2. Surgical Treatment
If your symptoms don’t respond once 6 to 12 months of nonsurgical treatments, your physician may recommend surgery.
Most surgical procedures for tennis elbow involve removing diseased muscle and reattaching healthy muscle back to the bone.
The right surgical approach for you’ll depend upon a variety of factors.
These include your injury, your general health, and your personal needs. Talk to your doctor about the options. Discuss the results your physician has had, and any risks associated with each procedure.
- Open surgery most common approach to epicondylitis repair is open surgery. This involves making an incision over the elbow. Open surgery usually performs as an outpatient surgery. It rarely requires an overnight stay at the hospital.
- Arthroscopic surgery can also be repaired using miniature instruments and small incisions. Like open surgery, this is an outpatient procedure.