A Basic Look at Tennis Elbow

Tennis player wearing an elbow bandage

Tennis elbow is the non-medical term used to refer to sharp pain in the elbow which develops due to overuse. This painful condition is called tennis elbow because it is a common ailment among tennis players. However, participation in other repetitive motion activities, including painting, auto mechanics, and plumbing, can also lead to the development of tennis elbow. Continue reading to learn more about tennis elbow and how an orthopaedic surgeon can provide relief.

Causes of tennis elbow

In individuals who have tennis elbow, the muscles and tendons in their forearms that connect to the elbow have become inflamed. This soft tissue can slowly become damaged from activities that require the same repetitive motion. The main muscle that becomes damaged is the forearm muscle called the extensor carpi radialis brevis, a muscle that stabilizes the wrist every time the elbow is held straight. Even though anyone could potentially develop tennis elbow, this condition is more common among athletes and individuals between the ages of 30 and 50.

Symptoms of tennis elbow

The symptoms of tennis elbow typically develop gradually over time and become more severe as the individual continues to use the damaged muscle. Some of the most common signs of tennis elbow include pain or a burning sensation in the outer region of the elbow and weakened grip strength when holding objects. These symptoms can be especially apparent when an individual with tennis elbow begins to pick up and swing a racket.

Treatment of tennis elbow

Depending on the severity of an individual’s tennis elbow, an orthopaedic doctor may recommend a range of treatment options. Most cases can be treated with non-surgical options such as physical therapy, braces, and anti-inflammatory medication.

If you think that you have developed tennis elbow, schedule an appointment with MK Orthopaedics by calling (815) 741-6900. Our experienced orthopaedic staff is dedicated to helping patients find the correct treatment they need to return to the activities they love. You can visit our website to find out more about our services and treatment options.

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