Tennis Elbow

Perhaps one of the best-known sports injuries is tennis elbow, an overuse injury of a tendon in the elbow. Despite the name of the condition, it can actually be caused by any activity in which you flex and lift your wrist and hand repeatedly.

The most obvious symptoms of tennis elbow are, perhaps not surprisingly, elbow pain. This discomfort may radiate from the outside of the elbow, down to the wrist and hand, worsen over time and be accompanied by weakness in the lower arm.

Golfer’s elbow, another well-known condition, differs from tennis elbow because tennis elbow affects the outside of the elbow, whereas golfer’s elbow causes pain on the inside of the joint

Resting the injured arm, icing it, compressing it and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain killers may help your elbow heal on its own. But if your elbow feels hot and inflamed, you think you might have broken a bone, or you can’t move your arm, see your doctor.  He or she may suggest you see a physical therapist to learn exercises that will lengthen and strengthen the muscles of your arms. You may also need to use a brace or strap to support the elbow and reduce stress on it. Finally, in about 10 percent of tennis elbow, surgery is necessary to either sever and then reattach the tendon, or trim the part of it that’s become inflamed.

Once you’ve recovered from tennis elbow, you can prevent it from coming back by continuing with the physical therapy exercises that helped your elbow heal, along with altering the movements that may have caused the injury, such as your tennis swing. This can help minimize reduce stress and strain on the elbow. In fact, by learning to protect your elbow, you may actually end up improving your tennis game!

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  1. greg zurbay says:

    Tendon injuries from overuse of a muscle is the result of constant stress on the tendon by the tightening of the muscle. Because the muscle has been overused the belly of the muscle has no ability to absorb the peak load ( compare the muscle body to a fully taunt bungee cord ). When the peak load is transferred to the tendon it causes the breakdown of the collagen that makes up the tendon. This is called tendinosis which refers to the breakdown of the tendon, as opposed to tendinitus which means inflammation of the tendon. Treating for inflammation will not address the cause of the problem. This entire problem on the misperception of the cause of tendon injuries is well covered in the Physician and Sports Medicine 2000 article TITLE :
    OVERUSE TENDINOSIS, NOT TENDINITIS ( Volume 28 – no. 5 – May 2000 ).

    Please note: Optimum treatment for any tendon injury requires deep tissue massage that resets the overactive spindle cells which are keeping the muscle in a state of hyper tonus. Once the muscle belly is relaxed and back to full length – the constant tension which had cause the collagen to degrade will be gone and the body will be able to remodel the tendon.

    While resting will allow some healing, a return to activity can again re-establish tendon injury if the tendon has not had sufficient time to rebuild, a likely situation if the muscle is still overused and shortened ( hyper tonus ). Healing of the tendon can require months, daily massage to return the muscle to relaxed status can require 1 to 5 weeks of daily massage – Reference the report – SPECIAL REVIEW – Muscle Pain Syndromes – Part 1- David G. Simmons, M.D.
    in the American Journal of Physical Medicine.

    Greg Zurbay
    inventor Boo_Boo-Tool
    Patent # 5,817,037
    [email protected]