The tennis elbow is an inflammation of the tendons that connect the muscles in the forearm to the elbow. It is also known as lateral epicondylitis and lateral elbow epicondylitis. It is caused by repetitive use of the forearm muscles or activities that involve the use of the wrist and hand.
Tennis elbow is very common during tennis play and often occurs when playing the sport. This article discusses symptoms, causes, and the basic ways to prevent tennis elbow.
Symptoms of tennis elbow
The tennis elbow is characterized by pain on the elbow joint’s outside (lateral) part. Moderate to severe pain is felt when using the forearm muscles. The pain is often felt when lifting objects, holding a cup of coffee, or opening a jar. Other symptoms include loss of grip strength, weakness, and tenderness outside the elbow.
The pain can be aggravated by gripping, lifting, and throwing. In addition, gripping an object can trigger a dull ache and pain that radiates from the elbow toward the forearm.
Also, there is an increase of pain when the muscles are stretched and an increase of pain upon bending the wrist back.
Causes of tennis elbow
1. Using plumbing tools
Activities such as plumbing, painting, carpentry, and yard work can wear out the forearm muscles. For example, holding a pipe or a wrench for long periods can stress the forearm muscles.
2. Poor posture
Prolonged sitting and using a computer can affect the way you position your body. Poor posture can cause imbalances and overuse of the forearm muscles.
3. Bad grip
Having a grip that is too tight or too loose can put unnecessary stress on the forearm muscles. Both can cause tennis elbow. Furthermore, gripping things incorrectly can lead to strain on your elbow.
4. Improper throwing
Improper throwing can cause tennis elbow. Proper throwing techniques can prevent tennis elbow from developing. To add to this, throwing sports such as baseball or softball can also result in tennis elbow.
5. Overuse Syndrome
Overuse Syndrome is brought about by repetitive stress on the forearm muscles. It can be caused by a job that requires constant use of the arms- it could be a pianist, a writer, a baseball player, and even a musician.
6. Lack of flexibility
Lack of flexibility can cause tennis elbow. This is because of the movement of the forearm muscles. Try stretching your back, shoulder, and wrist at least three times a week to avoid tennis elbow.
7. Joint-related problems
When the joint of your forearm is not working properly, you are at high risk of developing a tennis elbow. A medical diagnosis is necessary if you want to confirm this.
How to avoid tennis elbow (elbow compression sleeve)
1. Avoid Repetitive Task
Ensure that you have a rotation or shift system when doing repetitive tasks. This will help avoid possible injury and relieve the tension on your muscles. In addition, you should limit the number of times you use your arm in a day. This can be as little as 10-15 times a day.
2. Use Proper Technique
Ensure that you are using the correct posture and motion when doing stressful tasks. Check your technique if you find yourself tensing up your forearm muscles. Correcting your posture and motion will improve your body movement and help the muscles rest and not fatigue your muscles.
3. Use Appropriate Strength Training
Add light strength training to your muscle routine, using a lightweight, 5 to 10 pounds. This will help refresh your muscle and allow you to do more repetitions without feeling the strain. Make sure to pick up the weight using your elbows and not your hands. This light exercise can be done every other day to relieve the stress from your elbow.
4. Get Some Rest
If you have been working on a certain project, take a break from it for a short period. If you have been working for a long period, take a few hours off. This will help reduce the strain in your forearm. Also, if you are trying to calm down after an emotional episode, try to stay away from using your arms. You cannot relax if you are using your arms.
5. Wear an elbow compression sleeve
After your workout, wear an elbow compression sleeve. This is because the compression provided by the sleeve will decrease the inflammation and prevent tennis elbow, making it a good choice for when you are at the gym or playing tennis.
6. Use Preventive Measures
The best way to avoid injury is to use preventive measures. Use an elbow compression sleeve to reduce the pressure and stress from your arms. Having a compression sleeve will help improve your posture and reduce pain. This will also help improve your health, especially when going through a stressful task.
7. Check Your Pain Scale
Check your pain scale regularly to determine if you feel any pain in your elbow. If you feel pain, consult your doctor immediately. Keep a pain chart and record the pain you feel.
8. Use a Tennis Elbow Brace if Needed
If you are in pain, consider using a tennis elbow brace. The brace will deliver compression to the elbow, which will help reduce the pain you have been experiencing.
Tennis elbow is a common injury that you should look out for. It is also important that you take precautionary measures to avoid getting injured. With the right information, you will know what to do to prevent yourself from getting injured and how to recover from this injury when you are experiencing pain.