Tennis & Golfers Elbow
Tennis Elbow (clinically known as lateral Epicondylitis) is a condition that causes pain around the outside of the elbow. It often occurs after strenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm, near the elbow joint.
You may notice pain:
- on the outside of your upper forearm, just below the bend of your elbow
- when lifting or bending your arm
- when gripping small objects, such as a pen
- when twisting your forearm, such as turning a door handle or opening a jar.
You may also find it difficult to fully extend your forearm.
As the name suggests, Tennis Elbow is sometimes caused by playing tennis. However, it is often caused by other activities that place repeated stress on the elbow joint, such as decorating or playing the violin for example.
Pain that occurs on the inner side of the elbow is often known as Golfer’s Elbow.
Treating Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow is known as a self-limiting condition and will eventually get better without treatment.
If you rest your injured arm and stop doing the activity which is causing the problem your symptoms will improve and recovery will be quicker.
A cold compress, such as a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel, against your elbow for a few minutes several times a day can help ease the pain.
Taking painkillers, such as paracetamol, may help reduce mild pain caused by tennis elbow. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, can also be used to help reduce inflammation.
Physiotherapy may be recommended in more severe and persistent cases. Massaging and manipulating the affected area may help relieve the pain and stiffness and improve the range of movement in your arm.
Most cases of tennis elbow last between six months and two years. However, in about nine out of 10 cases, a full recovery is made within a year.