What is Tennis Elbow Pain?

'Tennis elbow’ is a common term for a condition caused by the overuse of arm, forearm and hand muscles that results in elbow pain. It is a significant problem for tennis players, however, you don’t have to play tennis to get it. Tennis elbow is caused by either an abrupt or subtle injury of the muscle and tendon area around the outside of the elbow. Tennis elbow most commonly affects people in their dominant arm but it can also occur in the non-dominant arm or in rare cases, both arms.

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

  • Pain slowly increasing around the outside of the elbow. Less often, pain may develop suddenly.
  • Pain is worse when shaking hands of squeezing objects.
  • Pain is made worse by stabilizing or moving the wrist with force. This includes lifting, using tools, opening jars or even handling simple utensils such as a toothbrush.
  • Pain and stiffness when fully extending the arm.

Who gets Tennis Elbow?

It affects men more the women. It often occurs to people between age 30-50 years old, although people of any age can be affected. Although tennis elbow commonly affects tennis players, it can also affect other athletes and people who participate in leisure or work activities that require repetitive arm, elbow, wrist and hand movement, especially tightly gripping something.

Examples of such type of people are:- golfers, baseball players, carpenters, mechanics and assembly-line workers.

How is Tennis Elbow treated?

Can be treated by physical therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs and forearm bracing to rest the tendons.

  • Icing (Cryotherapy): Cryotherapy helps in reducing the inflammation at the injured area, therefore reducing pain.
  • Ultrasound: Increases blood circulation to the injured tissue for faster recovery. Provides a massaging effect to the injured area.
  • Interferential (IFT): Uses a mid-frequency electrical signal to treat muscular spasms and strains. The current produces a massaging effect over the affected areas at periodic intervals, and this stimulates the secretion of endorphins, the body natural pain killers. IFT is used to relieve pain, stimulate muscles, increase blood flow and reduce oedema.
  • Therapeutic Tape: It is an elastic cotton strip with an acrylic adhesive that is used for treating athletic injuries and a variety of physical disorders. The tape has a beneficial role in improving strength, Range of Motion (ROM)
    and increase the blood flow as well as promote the circulation of lymphatic fluids, which causes swelling.
  • Exercises: Wrist stretches, theraband exercises and wrist strengthening exercises.