First of all, what causes tennis elbow?
Believe it or not, tennis elbow is not just caused by playing tennis, or any sport for that matter.
Tennis elbow is a common repetitive strain injury that can sometimes occur after banging or knocking the elbow. It is commonly caused due to any repetitive movement or strenuous activity from everyday activities, such as racket sports, cooking and repetitive mouse use.
Due to the repetitive motion required, jobs such as tradesmen and decorators are also among those highly prone to tennis elbow.
What is happening?
When the muscles in your forearm become overworked and have been strained, tiny tears occur and that’s when inflammation develops. This inflammation develops around the lateral epicondyle, which is located outside of the elbow.
This inflammation causes:
- Limited range of movement
- Muscle weakness
- Cause the muscle to go into spasm
This can make daily tasks a struggle or no longer able to perform.
Ways to help ease Tennis elbow
Due to the nature of tennis elbow being a repetitive strain injury, try to rest your arm and avoid any movement and activities that aggravate the pain in the elbow.
As the area has become inflamed, a great way to help reduce inflammation and manage pain symptoms is the use of cold packs or ice.
When applying a cold compress, make sure to apply for no longer than 15 minutes, avoiding touching the skin directly. You can repeat this process as many times throughout the day.
The use of pain relief medication and anti-inflammatories, if you can take them, will also help to relieve pain and help to reduce inflammation. This is great short-term but not recommended for long-term management as you can run the risk of damaging organs and developing stomach ulcers.
Looking into the use of alternative interventions such as an acupuncturist can help to release the tension in the muscles without the nasty side effects of painkillers.
Getting to the route of it all
It’s all very good raiding your freezer for the frozen peas, but ideally, we want to avoid a flare-up in the first place! Booking an appointment with a massage and sports therapist can help with this. They will take into consideration a variety of factors, such as your posture which may well be the main cause of aggravation to the elbow. A sports therapist will also be able to go through your weekly activities with you as it may be external factors such as poor technique during exercise or when playing sports. We also often find poor workstation setup to be an extremely common factor when dealing with tennis elbow.