Tennis Elbow- Diagnosis and Treatment

A girl holding her elbow.

Lateral epicondylitis, otherwise known as tennis elbow, is an injury that occurs when you overload your elbow tendons. Despite its name, anyone can have a tennis elbow—it’s not just tennis players. For example, people whose jobs require them to move their arms and wrists repetitively can also experience a tennis elbow. These include butchers, carpenters, painters, plumbers, gardeners, etc.

Tennis elbow’s pain radiates from your forearm muscles and towards the outer elbow. It may also spread to your wrist.

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

  • Difficulty in shaking hands or gripping an object
  • Struggling to turn a doorknob
  • Difficulty in holding a coffee cup

Diagnosing Tennis Elbow

A doctor will examine your elbow joint for stiffness or swelling. They may ask you to move your fingers, wrist, or elbow or apply pressure to the affected area. Physical examination and the patient’s medical history are sufficient to diagnose a tennis elbow. However, they may suggest imaging tests or x-rays to ensure no other condition is causing such symptoms.

X-Rays – X-rays will rule out the possibilities of fracture or arthritis, confirming that the pain is due to the tennis elbow.

Imaging Tests- CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds are some imaging tests that will assess muscle and tendon damage.

Electromyography (EMG) – An EMG will look for compressed nerves, measuring nerve and muscle electric activity.

Treating Tennis Elbow

A person resting both elbows on knees.

Tennis elbow may get better with some simple measures. However, if resting for a day or over-the-counter medications aren’t effective, your healthcare practitioner may suggest the following treatments:

1. Physiotherapy

A physiotherapist will help you implement simple exercises in your lifestyle to strengthen and stretch your forearm muscles. Exercises that involve raising and lowering your arm slowly are specifically helpful in treating tennis elbow. You may be asked to wear a strap to reduce stress on your elbow.

2. Injections      

Platelet-rich plasma might be injected into the affected tendon to relieve your tennis elbow. Acupuncture may also help treat a tennis elbow effectively.

3. Surgery   

If your tennis elbow persists for a few months or a year, surgery might be the best choice. A surgeon will remove the damaged tissue by making several small incisions. Exercises are mandatory to recover post-recovery.

4. Ultrasonic Procedure

This procedure involves inserting a needle through your skin into the damaged muscle. Ultrasonic energy then vibrates the needle such that the damaged tissue melts and can be sucked out.

5. Home Remedies  

The following home remedies may be helpful in tennis elbow treatment:

  • Avoiding strenuous activities
  • Taking pain relievers
  • Applying ice packs to the affected area
  • Avoid moving your wrist repetitively

Prepare For Your Appointment

It’s essential to prepare yourself for the questions your healthcare practitioner might ask you before showing up for an appointment.

  • Note down when your symptoms first began
  • Enlist the activities that worsen the pain
  • Enlist all the medications you’ve taken or the remedies you’ve tried

Your doctor must know these details to provide you with an effective treatment plan. Visit 5 Star Clinic Ltd if you’re looking for a tennis elbow treatment in Lancashire. Our professionals offer various treatments, including acupuncture, physiotherapy, hypnotherapy, and massage. Learn more about our services here!

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