Pain in the Elbow
The Wimbledon tennis championships are coming up at the end of June and let’s hope the great British Summer weather is perfect for them this year! One problem that many people over 50 suffer from is an ailment called “Tennis Elbow” which can be very painful and annoying, and is caused by overuse of the muscles and tendons or the forearm and elbow.
It’s a very common condition with about 5 people per thousand in the UK having it annually, and while it’s very common between the ages of 30 to 50 it can occur at any age. The elbow joint is surrounded by a group of muscles that are responsible for moving your elbow, wrist and fingers. The tendons in your elbow join the bones and muscles together and control the muscles of your forearm. Tennis Elbow occurs when one or more of the tendons in your elbow become inflamed. The pain occurs at the point where the tendons of your forearm muscle attach to the bone. If this area becomes inflamed, then certain movements that use the forearm can be painful and the inner elbow can feel very tender and hotter than the rest of the surrounding area. Twisting movements, such as turning a door handle or opening the lid of a jar, are particularly painful.
Tennis Elbow is a self-limiting condition. This means that in most cases the symptoms eventually improve and clear up without treatment. However, the best “cure” for tennis elbow is rest and to put on a elasticated bandage below the elbow to help immobilize it. It can also be helpful to place ice on the elbow when resting it and in severe cases anti-inflammatory painkillers can help reduce mild pain and inflammation. In the most severe cases, where the previous treatment hasn’t worked, and the pain remains intense, a cortisone injection is an alternative option.
It is a quirky condition, and many doctors will advise to rest the elbow whilst admitting there is not much else they can advise, and in many cases the condition will stay for weeks or months and then just completely disappear over night, never to re-occur!
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Do you have any tips on how to relieve the pain associate with Tennis Elbow?
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