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Tennis Elbow

Elbow Pain

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondyliltis, is a form of elbow pain or arm pain that can be caused by overuse. It is an inflammation or wear and tear of tendons which attach at the elbow.  Despite its common name, it is not a condition that affects only tennis players!

The elbow pain of tennis elbow is commonly on the outside of your arm just below the elbow.  The pain might sometimes extend down towards your wrist.  It will hurt when you use that arm to lift something or even hold something as light as a cup of coffee.  It might also cause arm pain when you try extending your arm.

Even though the tendons may heal a bit when you stop the activity that caused the injury, more tears might occur and lead to the formation of calcium deposits.  The pressure from these deposits and the local inflammation can restrict blood flow and irritate the surrounding tissues including the radial nerve.

Although some cases of tennis elbow can last for years, most people who receive proper treatment will notice that the inflammation and symptoms subside in weeks to months.

Elbow Pain

The most common causes of elbow pain include

  • tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow
  • bursitis
  • unlar nerve or radial nerve syndromes
  • arthritis

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How can Tennis Elbow pain be helped?

One of the most effective treatments is to stop the activity that caused the inflammation.  This is easy enough if you’re a weekend tennis player, golfer or swimmer but not so simple for laborers, line workers, office personnel or musicians.  Osteopathic treatment can help a great deal in alleviating the pain and discomfort of tennis elbow – and osteopathy can also help any mechanical problems that may contribute to  developing tennis elbow.

I would then work with you to do specific exercises so that you can slowly and successfully return to your activities without aggravating your pain.

If you have a more serious case of arm pain associated with tennis elbow your doctor might recommend cortisone injections.  Cortisone is a steroid that dramatically reduces inflammation.  Surgery is indicated in less than 3% of cases.  The good news is that early osteopathic treatment may prevent the need for more dramatic treatment.

Prevention of arm pain and tennis elbow is the best policy.  Lift things with your palm facing your body, ask your osteopath for exercises to warm up your arm, and take breaks when undergoing a stressful or repetitive activity.  If you are in pain, see me for a consultation by booking in today.

Is your funny bone not feeling so fun?

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