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Tennis Elbow

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by

Rose L

on 22 October 2013

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Transcript of Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow
What causes the injury?
Although overexertion appears to be the main contributing factor in causing tennis elbow, any repetitive gripping activities, particularly ones that use the thumb and first two fingers, may contribute to the development of tennis elbow. Trauma such as direct blows to the epicondyle, a sudden forceful pull, or forceful extension can also cause injury.

The repetitive use of, and tugging on, the tendons, can lead to tiny tears in the forearm tendon attachment at the elbow, causing the pain.
What is 'tennis elbow'?
Tennis Elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a type of tendonitis caused by overuse, in which the outer part of the elbow becomes sore and tender. Tendons are bands of tissue connecting muscles of your lower arm to the bone. Despite the name ‘tennis elbow’, the injury is not limited to tennis players.
Other causes
The extensor digiti minimi can also be affected, since this muscle involves the extension of the little finger and some extension of the wrist allowing for adaption to ‘snap’ or flick the wrist, a movement usually associated with a racquet swing. The extensor muscles become painful due to tendon breakdown from over-extension.
When the player experiences the early signs of tennis elbow, they should stop playing and rest their elbow.

To reduce inflammation and pain the elbow should be iced every 20-30 minutes for every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days or until the pain is gone. An elbow strap can be worn to prevent further injury or strain to the tendon.

For pain the player may take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or aspirin, and having injections of steroids or painkillers to temporarily ease some swelling and pain around the joint may help in the short term, however studies suggest that steroid injections do not help in the long term.
Contributing factors and Prevention
Ability and poor technique increases the chance for injury much like any sport, but incorrect use of arms can cause unnecessary stress on the tendons and muscles of and around the elbow, hence resulting in tennis elbow.

To prevent tennis elbow, players should ensure that they have correct form and ability, to reduce stress on their epicondyles. Correct and suitable equipment, such as a racket of a good and comfortable weight and a good grip should be used.

Insufficient rest and recovery time in between training sessions may also promote the development of tennis elbow, as the microscopic tears in the tissue are unable to fully heal.

Players should stretch before training, and have breaks during their training sessions, particularly if training includes repetitive motions. The next training sessions should be after a suitable period of recovery, and performing a range of motion exercises to reduce stiffness and increase flexibility can help in both the treatment and prevention of tennis elbow. Two exercises to perform several times a day are squeezing a tennis ball and opening your fingers against the resistance of a rubberband. Players can also do three sets of 15 wrist curls, inverted wrist curls.
Icing the elbows after exercise can always aid in prevention.

When to return?
After injury, an individual should be ready to return to their former level of activity when:
Gripping objects or bearing weight on their arm or elbow is no longer painful
Your injured elbow feels as strong as your other elbow
Your elbow is no longer swollen
You can flex and move the elbow without any trouble

Symptoms
Symptoms may include:
radiating pain from the outside of the elbow to the forearm and wrist
pain during extension of wrist
weakness of the forearm
a painful grip while shaking hands
not being able to hold relatively heavy items in the hand
Potential Future Effects
Tennis elbow will generally heal on its own if left to, and once healed, tennis elbow should not have long term effects on their sporting career, however players should limit their repetitive movements and monitor their training and use/straing on and of their elbow stringently.

But if not allowed to heal, the small tears in the tendons can become much more serious and develop into larger tears and greater injuries, which may have long-term consequences and effects on sporting abilities/career.
Treatment
Full transcript