A tennis elbow is medically referred to as "lateral epicondylitis," and it is one of the most common types of tendinitis. The common symptoms of the condition include constant pain of the elbow and the arm. Most people believe that this sports injury is reserved for athletes who play tennis, but the reality is that anyone can get the condition because it results from all activities that involve repetitive gripping and swinging activities. Here are a few guidelines on how to diagnose, treat and manage lateral epicondylitis.
Diagnosis of the condition
People who play games such as tennis, racquetball, weightlifting, and squash are at a higher risk of developing a tennis elbow than everyone else. The typical symptoms of the condition include the following:
• Pain when you lift objects
• Pain when you open doors or make movements such as shaking hands
• Pain when you straighten your wrist
• Pain when you grip something such as a tennis racquet
Other activities that put you at risk of developing the condition but aren't related to sports include things like knitting, typing and even raking. The only way to receive a proper diagnosis of the condition is by contacting a reliable sports physiotherapist. They will look at your symptoms and help you determine if you have the condition.
Treatment for the condition
The first part of treatment for the ailment includes first aid techniques such as icing the elbow and reducing the pain and swelling. If the damage to the tendons is not severe, you can use something like an elbow strap to reduce movement of the elbow, thereby preventing further damage. There is also a range of medications which are useful in minimising the pain that comes from the condition.
The role of physical therapy
After diagnosis and preliminary treatment, you will also need physical therapy to make sure that healing happens as it should. Some of the best procedures followed by physiotherapists include performing a range of motion exercises, which are aimed at restoring flexibility to the arm and reducing stiffness. If your injury were severe enough to warrant surgery, you would also need therapy as part of the recovery process. A competent physiotherapist ensures that healing is happening at the right pace and that all your tendon muscles get restored.
A crucial thing to remember about therapy and recovery from tennis elbow is to avoid straining the affected arm. Do not lift heavy objects or try gripping objects until you are sure the injured elbow is completely healed. Contact a professional if you think you may need sports physiotherapy to rehabilitate your arm.