Aloha, Found this article on our Roadrunner website here. Hope it helps all of you.
Treating Tennis Elbow
by Stephenie Karony
Q) What causes tennis elbow and what are my options for treatment?
A) Lateral epicondylitis or elbow tendonitis is often referred to as
tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is an inflammation of the muscles and
tendons that attach at the elbow. It's usually caused by repetitive
stress to these muscles and tendons. In severe cases micro tearing
may also occur.
Tennis elbow can develop in anyone who uses the muscles that extend
the forearm excessively. Individuals whose work requires them to use
a tool repetitively are at a high risk of developing the conditions.
Among tennis players there are a number of possible causes: repeated
use of the backhand stroke, using a racket handle that's to small
for one's grip, gripping the racket handle too tightly, or having
strings that are too tight on the racket.
There is also another similar joint disorder called medial
epicondylitis. The most common name for this condition is golfer's
elbow or pitcher's elbow. The main cause of this condition is
excessive stress on the wrist forearm muscles combined with repeated
tension on the elbow joint. Golfers, pitchers and racquetball
players are at a high risk of medial epicondylitis. This condition
is associated more with sport activity than is tennis elbow. Of the
two, tennis elbow is more common than golfer's elbow because tennis
elbow is often attributed to job related joint stress.
Symptoms of both lateral and medial epicondylitis are the same. The
elbow hurts. The pain can even radiate down the forearm, and if you
don't take immediate steps to fix the problem, it will intensify
with continued use. The pain is sometimes accompanied by swelling
and/or tenderness in the elbow area. If the condition is left
untreated, movements such as flexing or extending the wrist, as in
picking up a cup of coffee, can become difficult. At its worst the
joint will hurt, become inflamed and a feeling of catching or
sticking may even develop. You're in real trouble if you let it go
Treating Tennis Elbow
General treatment of both disorders is as follows; Avoid all
activities that aggravate the affected area. Ice the elbow joint for
20 minutes, several times throughout the day; this helps control the
pain and inflammation. An over-the-counter anti-inflammatory is also
recommended. When the swelling subsides, start doing some simple
range of motion exercises. Once the pain is gone it's time to start
some strength and flexibility exercises. It's at this point that
you'll need to follow some specific guidelines, from a doctor,
physical therapist, or other qualified professional, because healing
protocols vary depending on the type and severity of the injury.
Your return to activity should be slow. Increase your activity level
only as tolerated. If you jump back in at the level you were at when
the injury occurred, re-injury is almost certain.
There are a variety of devices that can be worn to help protect the
elbow joint. Braces, sleeves, joint wraps, and air bands can all
help alleviate the stress placed on the muscles that insert at the
Of course the best way to avoid major problems is to prevent them
from occurring in the first place. But if they do occur, early
detection and treatment is your first line of defense. Always
maintain good form when moving the elbow and wrist; faulty movement
mechanics are often at the heart of these types of injuries. Develop
strong muscles in the arm, and keep those muscle limber with regular
stretching routines. Allow your body to rest as much as your
situation permits. And remember, if you enable an overuse injury to
re-establish itself , you'll be setting the stage for a lifelong