Tennis Elbow Affecting Your Day-to-Day Life?
Despite its name, “Tennis Elbow” is a condition that does not limit itself to affecting only those who play tennis regularly. Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a common injury that causes pain to radiate up and down the forearm.
Any time there is repeated stress placed upon a single area of the body, damage can occur over time. Many people in the cabinetry, mechanical, and sporting industries find that the repeated strain that they place upon their dominant elbow causes discomfort to develop. Car mechanics, cabinet builders and installers, bowlers, baseball players, and tennis players are constantly applying repeated stress to their dominant elbow. From twisting, to pressing, to lifting – the elbow joint and tendons simply become overused and overworked.
As with all joints, the tendons surrounding the elbow joint are meant to stabilize the elbow and help it function properly. All joints are meant to move in certain ways, and any deviance from their intended movements will cause unwanted strain on the joints. Tennis elbow is caused by gripping with the wrist and twisting in backward movements. With those in a trade that uses power tools, the wrist is repeatedly used to hold a tool (such as a drill); pressure is applied, and the wrist is twisted in order to insert a screw. For those who use this movement and pressure repeatedly, the pressure can cause specific and intense pain to build up over time.
Many new clients come into Medici Spine & Pain not understanding the severe pain that they are experiencing in their arm. Tennis elbow is often described as a shooting pain that zaps and twinges up and down the forearm. In severe cases, people have complained that even gripping a toothbrush is unbearable.
As with any type of injury, the first course of action in treating tennis elbow is to rest the entire arm. With the location of the elbow being in the center of the arm, it is difficult to use the arm without using the elbow. Wearing the affected arm in a sling for a few weeks can alleviate the stress that is causing pain. Of course, many people who rely on the function of their elbow for work and a salary cannot simply take off weeks from work. This is understandable when there are bills to pay and mouths to feed! Rest your elbow anytime you can, and apply the following advice:
- Apply ice for 15 minutes, twice a day, to the elbow.
- Use an OTC anti-inflammatory medication to offer relief.
- Wear a wrist or elbow brace to reduce stress on the tendons.
At Medici Spine & Pain, we provide comprehensive treatment plans for patients suffering from Tennis Elbow. An accurate diagnosis can go a long way in alleviating your pain, so even if you suspect that you are suffering from tennis elbow, please contact our office for an evaluation. While at-home treatments are often beneficial, more advanced treatments such as steroid injections, physical therapy, and customized devices are necessary for severe cases.
If elbow pain is disrupting your work performance or daily life, contact Medici Spine & Pain to schedule an appointment.
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