Many patients who have never even used a tennis racket experience the orthopedic issue known as tennis elbow. What tennis elbow really means is tendonitis of the tendon that connects our forearm muscle to the elbow joint.
This tendon becomes inflamed when it is irritated by constant use of the elbow joint and arm muscles. Those who play tennis often overuse these muscles as well as plumbers, laborers, typists, rowers and others in professions that require constant use of the wrists and forearms.
Those with tennis elbow will feel pain and tenderness at the outer portion the elbow and may even feel heat and swelling there. Pain may radiate down the forearm especially when stretching.
Fortunately, tennis elbow is fairly easy to manage when treated in it’s early stages. Stopping repetitive movements, using ice to reduce swelling, and stretching the arm muscles are usually enough to relieve symptoms. Unfortunately, if your arm muscles are not properly strengthened, tennis elbow will reoccur and could transform into a very painful and chronic issue.
More progressive treatments for tendinitis in the area are corticosteroid injections. The anti inflammatory medication injected directly into the irritated tissues usually relieve symptoms for months at a time, allowing the tendon time to heal and for the patient to strengthen the surrounding muscles with a physical therapy regimin. This will help prevent flare ups of tendinitis when constant wrist and arm movement can not be avoided.