Understanding Tennis Elbow
Most of the muscles that elongate your wrist are connected to a bony bulge on the end of your elbow called the lateral epicondyle. Sometimes, through injury or overuse, the place where these muscles insert can become disturbed or inflamed. This state is called lateral epicondylitis or "tennis elbow"- although the bulk of those affected do not play tennis.
Activities requiring repeated wrist extension are a frequent cause of this condition, i.e., tennis, carpentry, bricklaying, knitting, playing piano, typing, or raising objects with your palm facing downwardly. The ailment is 3 times more prone to strike your dominant arm.
The pain often starts as an intermittent or gradual pain during movement and advances so that even simple activities, like holding a coffee cup, become painful. Pain may develop when you straighten your arm, grasp a doorknob or shake hands. The pain may range from moderate to severe and ordinarily radiates into the forearm, sometimes to the wrist.
Without treatment, "tennis elbow" customarily lingers - 80% of subjects still describe pain after one year. The first action in a successful treatment plan is to modify or cancel activities that produce symptoms. At night, avoid resting with your elbow pressed underneath your pillow. Try to avoid raising heavy objects with your palm facing down. Tennis or racquetball players may need to consider transferring to a lighter racket or a smaller handle. We may suggest you to wear a "counter force brace" for your elbow. This brace will act as a provisional new attachment site for your muscles thereby subduing some of the stress to your elbow. Sports creams and home ice massage may contribute to some pain relief as well. Be patient with your recovery!