Do I have tennis elbow?
The Health at Hand nurses look at causes, symptoms and treatment of tennis elbow
Tennis elbow is a common condition that causes pain around the outside of your elbow. In spite of its name, this condition is often the result of everyday activities, not just playing a sport. Anyone can get it, particularly as you get older.
There are three reasons why we may get elbow pain:
- From damage or scarring to the soft tissue on the bone at the tip of the elbow – persistent leaning on this area may result in swelling and pain.
- As a result of a condition called lateral epicondylitis – otherwise known as tennis elbow. If there is damage to the muscles and tendons to the outside of the elbow then pain will result (usually due to repetitive action or over-use). Some of these muscles fix into the side of the elbow just above the elbow point which is why pain may occur. Pain from tennis elbow usually diminishes after 6 months but can take anywhere up to 2 years to disappear completely.
- Medial epicondylitis – more commonly known as golfer’s elbow can also be the cause of pain in that area. Similar to tennis elbow but affecting the muscles and tendons on the inside as opposed to the outside of the elbow.
Tennis elbow – the causes
Inflammation and pain is a result of the muscles and tendons around the elbow being damaged or strained. Usually, this is due to over-use of the elbow but can also occur if the elbow is banged or knocked. Sometimes tennis elbow can occur as the result of suddenly undertaking exercise that you are not used to which involves the wrist or forearm.
If you haven’t played for a while and then decide to play a vigorous racquet game such as tennis, squash or badminton, pain in the elbow may result. Other activities such as typing, using shears, painting and decorating, etc., may result in tennis elbow too.
Tennis elbow – symptoms
Mild or very sharp pain in your arm just below the elbow is the most commonly reported symptom of tennis elbow. The pain may also spread down the arm.
People with tennis elbow sometimes find it difficult to fully extend the arm and it can sometimes be painful to grip small objects or even twist the arm.
Treatment for tennis elbow
Tennis elbow tends to get better on its own, but it is advised to rest the arm and you can help ease the pain by icing the elbow – either with an ice pack or frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel held against your elbow for 10 minutes at a time. Over the counter pain killers like paracetamol or ibuprofen may help with the pain along with reducing inflammation.
If after resting the area and icing it for a few days you are still experiencing a lot of pain then you should make an appointment to see your GP. They may refer you for physiotherapy which through massage and manipulation may help to get full movement back into your arm.
If your case is extremely serious then surgery to remove the damage in the tendon may be advised.
Find out how to prevent and treat some of the most common sports injuries
All content on Silversurfers.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated at all as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Silversurfers will not be responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content on www.silversurfers.com and we are also not liable for the content of any external websites or links from or to Silversurfers to any other websites. Please always consult your own doctor if you’re in any way concerned about any aspect of your health
Have you got a health question?
Silversurfers Health partner is AXA PPP healthcare. The AXA PPP healthcare's online service, "Ask the Expert", allows you to ask their team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives, counselors and pharmacists about any health topic.
Don't feel alone. You can ask anything about your health, any time for 24 hours a day; everyday. Please get in touch with us now.
ASK THE EXPERT
AXA PPP healthcare
Latest posts by AXA PPP healthcare (see all)
- Self-help tips on how to lower blood pressure naturally - June 7, 2019
- Do certain foods make you ill? - June 4, 2019
- Losing a loved one – how to cope - May 23, 2019
- Slipped discs – all you need to know - May 9, 2019
- How to prevent osteoporosis - May 7, 2019
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!