One of the most common overuse injuries found in athletes is tennis elbow. It can come from playing tennis, but it doesn’t just come from playing tennis.
Tennis elbow is an annoying injury that can be hard to deal with. Let’s look at what this injury is and how you can prevent it from happening to you.
What is Tennis Elbow?
The technical term for tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis. It’s known as one of the most common overuse injuries to the elbow. When you suffer from tennis elbow, it’s an inflammation and may also include micro-tears to the tendon of the wrist extensors. These tendons run along the forearm and attach near the elbow to the bone.
Causes of Tennis Elbow
You don’t have to pick up a racket and play tennis to get tennis elbow. It can be caused by many things including:
- Playing sports
- Forceful activities
- Repetitive movements using the forearm and wrist, such as typing, gardening, or working with tools
- Working in odd positions
- Excessive overhead work or reaching
Along with these causes, you can identify tennis elbow injuries by the following symptoms:
- Mild swelling
- Dull aching pain or tenderness found outside the elbow joint
- Loss of range of motion
- Worsening pain in the elbow or wrist
- Weakness in the elbow
- A crackling or gritty-like sensation when moving your elbow
If you’ve suffered from any of these symptoms, you might have tennis elbow and it might be time to see a doctor. If you’re in the Atlanta area, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrachuk for a diagnosis.
Preventing Tennis Elbow Before It’s Too Late
As an athlete, you probably want to prevent any possible injury, including tennis elbow. There are ways to avoid suffering this injury and they don’t include avoiding playing tennis.
The most common reason someone suffers from tennis elbow is overuse or repetitive motions. Some of the best ways to help prevent tennis elbow injuries include:
- Improve your technique or form when performing repetitive motions in sports
- Spread out the workload when performing activities with your wrist and elbow
- Increase your forearm muscle strength through exercise
- Use lighter tools with larger grips to keep the stress off your tendons
- Warm-up before playing any sport with gentle stretches
- Take regular breaks when gardening or painting
- Avoid activities placing a heavy strain on your forearm tendons and muscles
There are many ways to avoid ending up with tennis elbow. If you play sports, it’s a good idea to listen to a good coach when it comes to your technique. You can also work on your strength, conditioning, and flexibility to help ensure your body can handle the sports you play.
Even if you’re not an athlete, you can suffer from a tennis elbow injury. Take breaks whenever performing tasks putting a strain on your forearm, elbow, or wrist. Make sure you don’t overdo it and if you feel pain, take a break before continuing the activity.
If you do end up suffering from tennis elbow, make sure you see a good doctor – such as Dr. Andrachuk in Atlanta – to gain access to the best treatments. Of course, starting with rest, ice, compression, and elevation is always a good idea until you can be seen.