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Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition that occurs due to overuse of the arm, forearm, and hand muscles. Even though the name contains the word tennis, you don’t necessarily need to play tennis to get this injury. Carpenters, painters, and other construction workers often develop tennis elbow. The term derived because it was a significant problem for most tennis players.
The pain associated with tennis elbow is due to an inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow. Repetitive motions that cause overexertion of your elbow are the main cause of tennis elbow. Symptoms include:
- pain around the outside of the elbow
- pain when you shake hands or squeeze an object
- pain made worse by stabilizing or moving the wrist with force
Physical and occupational therapy can help promote the healing of tennis elbow. Your physical therapist or occupational therapist can design a specific treatment program to speed your recovery. Treatment typically involves specific exercises to stretch and strengthen muscles and tendons around the injured elbow. Your therapist may also use manual therapy, ice or heat treatments, and electrical stimulation. Your treatment plan will vary depending on your age, overall health, medical history, and severity of the pain you are experiencing.
While going through physical or occupational therapy it is important to also rest and avoid any activity that causes pain, ice the injured area, and take ibuprofen. A combination of self-care and treatment from a therapist can help you with the speediest, healthiest recovery. The goal of your physical or occupational therapy is to improve your ability to move pain-free, improve your strength, use your muscles the right way and return to your everyday activities. Overall, over 90% of people who suffer with tennis elbow will improve and recover with their specific treatment plan.
If you are suffering from elbow pain, give your local ACCESS PT office a call. We’d love to help you get back to doing the things you love!