During your everyday life, do you regularly use your hands and bend your elbows? That’s not a trick question. Repetitively doing these two things is all it takes for some people to develop the disorder commonly coined as “Tennis Elbow”. The scientific term, for our interested readers, is Lateral Epicondylitis/Epicondylosis.
What is it?
“Tennis Elbow” is an inflammation of the tissue that connects the muscles on the back (posterior compartment) of your forearm to the outside (lateral) part or your elbow. It can occur from acute injury as well as chronic overuse of the forearm. This makes the disorder very common among our hard-working general population. An interesting aspect of this elbow pain is that it commonly stems from shoulder or wrist problems. If the joints above and/or below the elbow aren’t moving how they ought too, the elbow tends to take on the excess stress that is created.
What does it feel like?
“Tennis Elbow” is commonly described as a constant aching, tender pain. When the patient tries to lift or grip objects, the pain can become very sharp and intense. Normally, this pain starts at the elbow and will radiate down the forearm into the hands as it gets worse.
What should I do?
Although this is a common disorder, the research regarding the best way to treat “Tennis Elbow” is still sparse. Until roughly the last 8 years, little to no quality research has been conducted. Previously we thought that rest and ice were the best ways to treat this disorder, but now we understand that Physical Therapy mobilizations directed at the elbow and spine, as well as closely guided exercise, yield the best results to date.
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