Tennis elbow is a painful medical condition you experience when you overload your elbow tendons with repetitive motions. Even though the name might suggest that it's more common in athletes, they're not the only ones who deal with this condition. Anyone overusing or misusing their wrist and elbow will experience pain and discomfort.
In this blog, our internal medicine doctors will explore its causes, symptoms, and treatments.
What Is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is a condition that causes pain in the elbow. It's commonly caused by repetitive arm use, such as playing tennis or other sports. It can also be caused by overuse and stress on your tendons, which connect muscles to bones.
The pain you feel may be sharp or dull, and it can change depending on how much pressure is applied to your tendons at any one time—the more pressure there is, the sharper the pain will be.
Many different things can cause tennis elbow, including:
- Overuse of muscles. If you're playing tennis and your elbow hurts, you may have been using it too much. The tendons are small and fragile, so if your body doesn't use them correctly, they can become injured.
- Injury to the tendons.This can happen if you have had previous injuries (such as carpal tunnel syndrome) and suddenly went back into your old habits without taking precautions like wearing protective gear or practicing self-care during physical activity.
- Small tears in the tendonscause inflammation and pain; inflammation causes swelling around these areas, which makes them harder to move around normally because there's less elasticity available for movement compared with normal tissue levels.
If you have tennis elbow, you may experience pain in the elbow when:
- Trying to grip a tennis racquet (or other objects)
- Opening jars, bottles, and boxes
- Using your arm
- Trying to lift or carry something with your arm
The severity of each symptom differs from person to person, but almost anyone who's dealing with the condition can expect some degree of discomfort at least once every day. This is more common when they're active or doing something that requires them to flex their hands repeatedly, such as writing on paper or typing on a computer keyboard, for example.
There are several treatments for tennis elbow, including:
- Rest:The best way to prevent a flare-up is to take at least a week off from playing.
- Cold compress: Ice can be applied directly to the injury or wrapped around the joint, but you shouldn't use it for more than 20 minutes.
- Pain relievers. Anti-inflammatory medications like naproxen sodium (Aleve) or ibuprofen (Advil).
- SoftWave therapy:This is a non-invasive treatment where micro shocks are delivered to the damaged area to stimulate the healing process
- Surgery: If your symptoms don't improve after 6 to 12 months of non-invasive treatments, your integrative medicine doctorsmight suggest minor surgery to remove the damaged tissue from your elbow.
Get In Touch With Internal Medicine Doctors In New Jersey
If you're experiencing pain and discomfort in your elbow, consider scheduling a SoftWave therapy session at Anti-Aging Wellness MD. Our certified doctors will work closely with you during this therapy to ensure you receive the best care possible.
We also offer integrative medicine services where we deal with detoxification and offer a gut health program.
Schedule a consultation with us today.