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Coping with Lateral Epicondylitis or Tennis Elbow

Feeling pain or tenderness along the outer side of your elbow? If gripping objects or performing simple daily tasks like brushing your hair has become difficult, you may be dealing with a condition called lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow. Lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, is swelling or tearing of the tendons that bend your wrist backward away from your palm. It’s caused by repetitive motion of the forearm muscles, which attach to the outside of your elbow. The muscles and tendons become sore from excessive strain. This leads to pain that can range from mild to quite severe with certain movements.

The most Common cause of Lateral Epicondylitis is repetitive stress to the area. Activities requiring continual wrist extension and gripping can overstrain those small tendons. Common causes include:

– Racquet sports – including pickle ball, tennis, squash and badminton
– Golf
– Manual tasks with your hands – carpentry, painting, knitting
– Computer work that involves repetitive clicking and typing
– Improperly lifting heavy objects

It is important to recognize the symptoms of tennis elbow so you can seek treatment and prevent further damage. At first, you may have pain, burning, or an ache along the outside of your forearm and elbow. With time, the pain gets worse. If you continue the activity that caused your condition, the pain may spread down to your wrist, even at rest. You may also feel pain when you try to lift and grip small objects, such as a coffee cup. A weak grip is another symptom of tennis elbow.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you may be suffering from tennis elbow. Though rest is important for healing, complete inactivity can cause the tissues to become tight and stiff. The best ways to manage discomfort include:

– Apply ice packs to reduce inflammation
– Take OTC pain medication as needed
– Wear an elbow compression sleeve to support the joint
– Stretch and massage the forearm muscles
– Consider physical therapy exercises
– Refrain from activities that aggravate symptoms
– Adjust repetitive motions at work to avoid strain

In severe or persistent cases, Dr. Savarino may recommend additional therapies such as, platelet-rich plasma injections, Tenjet, EPAT, and or high dose laser treatments to repair damaged tendons.

Once healed, proper warm up, technique adjustments, and periodic rest can prevent repeat elbow issues, especially during racket sports or manual tasks. Don’t ignore early signs of strain so small injuries don’t become chronic pain.

With targeted care for your elbow, you’ll be ready to grip that racket, club, hammer, or mouse again pain-free!

Dr. Daniel Savarino, DO, is an established and highly skilled physician specializing in sports and regenerative medicine, pain management, anti-aging treatments, and aesthetics. If you are suffering from symptoms related to tennis elbow, reach out! Complete the patient inquiry form on our website to activate an appointment with one of our Patient Advisors, or call (732) 385-2739. Visit regeneratenj.com to learn more.

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