The elbow, which connects the upper and lower arms, is responsible for bending and extension movements, so it is called the hinge of the arm. The elbow, which plays such an important role, causes pain when micro-ruptures in the tendon are accumulated due to repeated physical stress during long hours of work, exercise, and various activities such as household chores. Tennis elbow is a type of elbow overuse syndrome in which excessive force is applied to the outside of the elbow, causing pain. Although the official diagnosis is lateral colitis, it is commonly referred to as Tennis Elbow because a lot of it is caused by physical force on the outside of the elbow applied in the backhand position of tennis.
The main cause of tennis elbow symptoms is still unknown. It is known that rupture and inflammation occur when the muscles and tendons associated with the wrist joint are repeatedly moved a lot, or when the wrist is forcibly repeated by tilting the wrist back. Inflammation may also occur when the ligaments surrounding the elbow bones are damaged by impact or degenerative changes occur with increasing age. It is known that these actions are not caused by receiving a large shock at once, but by repeatedly receiving small shocks and accumulating them for a long period of time.
Tennis elbow occurs frequently in athletes such as tennis and badminton who use a lot of arms, housewives who do a lot of housework, workers in industries that use computers a lot, and restaurant-related occupations, and the incidence rate in the age group between 30 and 50 years old This is known to be high. Now, let’s take a look at the main symptoms, treatment, and prevention of tennis elbow, one by one.
The main symptoms of tennis elbow
The main symptom of tennis elbow is pain in the elbow area. At first, there is only a slight pain, but as the disease progresses, the pain gradually worsens. It has the characteristic of causing greater pain when twisting the arm or pressing the outer part of the elbow joint. In particular, the pain is more severe when lifting heavy objects or squeezing a rag or dishcloth, and when the symptoms are severe, the pain also occurs when holding a pen or pouring water into a water bottle.
Many of the symptoms caused by tennis elbow are similar to muscle pain that occurs after excessive exercise or labor, so even if you feel pain, it is often left unattended without any special measures. If the treatment period is delayed and continued for a long time, the pain not only worsens, but also causes a lot of inconvenience and difficulty in daily life due to movement disorders such as lower elbow muscle strength. It is known that the early treatment of tennis elbow can relieve symptoms faster. Therefore, if the pain in the elbow area continues, it is very important to visit a hospital to find the exact cause of the pain and to receive appropriate treatment according to the diagnosis result.
Tennis elbow treatment and prevention
1. Accurate diagnosis and treatment appropriate to the condition
To diagnose tennis elbow, blood tests and X-rays are used to check the level of inflammation and to check the exact condition of the bones. An MRI scan is sometimes performed to examine the ligaments in the injured area. And depending on the diagnosis result, various treatment methods such as conservative treatment and surgical treatment are carried out. First, it is necessary to reduce excessive work that aggravates the symptoms, to get enough rest and stability, and to perform methods such as manual therapy to correct the habit of straining the arms and hands. Treatment methods such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid injections, and extracorporeal shock waves can be implemented to relieve pain. If the pain is severe and persists despite these treatments, various surgical methods such as arthroscopic surgery, percutaneous tendon release, and cricoid ligament removal are selected and performed depending on the condition of the elbow tendon.
2. Sufficient rest and restraint of pain-inducing movements
In order to alleviate the symptoms of tennis elbow, it is important to avoid movements that cause a lot of pain and not to do excessive work. In particular, it is important to refrain from excessive use of the elbow and allow the muscles to rest sufficiently, as it is known that it is very helpful to get enough rest in the early stages when symptoms are weak. It is said that fixing the painful area with a bandage or band so that it does not move as much as possible helps a lot in improving symptoms. Also, if the pain is severe, hot or ice packs are also said to have a beneficial effect in relieving pain and relieving symptoms.
3. Stretching and moderate-intensity muscle exercise
In order to prevent and manage the symptoms of tennis elbow, stretching and moderate-intensity muscle exercise are also very helpful. Slowly stretching the arms, wrists, and shoulders is said to help relieve muscle tension and prevent symptoms from reoccurring. In addition, regular strength training with moderate-weight dumbbells, elastic bands, and water bottles is also said to help strengthen the muscles around the elbow.
In addition, if it is caused by exercise such as tennis or badminton, it is important to correct the wrong posture that puts strain on the elbow when the symptoms improve and start exercising again. And if the exercise equipment you use is large or heavy, it’s important to replace it with the one that’s right for you.