Tennis elbow is a very common ailment among athletes, especially those who play tennis for a living. It is caused by repetitive, forceful contact with the tennis racket. The elbow joint can be seriously injured if you are not careful.
Tennis elbow usually develops due to a stretched or torn tendon in the forearm muscle. Tendon is long flexible fibers of soft, fibrous tissue that connect a muscle to bone.
The overuse of a tendon can result from repetitive stress on a joint, resulting in microscopic tears that do not heal properly. When these tears get bigger and spread, they can cause even more damage to the tissues and the joints.
There are many tennis elbow treatments available. Usually, an anti-inflammatory medication is prescribed by a physician. As the symptoms disappear, a cortisone injection is administered to reduce swelling and inflammation. However, these anti-inflammatory drugs only treat the symptoms.
The best treatment option is prevention. You should try to avoid over-stretching the elbow joint. In addition, your doctor may prescribe exercises to strengthen your forearm muscle so that you can perform your game without pain. Exercises like arm circles, wrist curls, finger push-ups, and wrist extensions can help strengthen the muscles that are involved in gripping the tennis racket.
You may also have to undergo physical therapy to help build strength in your wrist. Your doctor will probably recommend this if you are experiencing severe tennis elbow.
In some cases, your doctor may advise surgery as your tennis elbow treatment. It is important to understand that surgery has many risks and side effects and you should discuss all your options with your physician.
One surgical procedure is arthroscopic surgery to release cartilage on the joint between the elbow and the shoulder. This procedure is used for a variety of tennis elbow conditions, including tears in the tendons between the elbow and the shoulder or bursa that have damaged the joint. The bursa is a small sac filled with fluid that helps lubricate and cushion the joint.
Another surgical procedure involves removing the tendon itself. The surgeon removes the tendon and inserts a titanium screw to replace it. This is used in the case of a deep tear in the tendon. If there is extensive damage, then the surgeon might recommend surgery to cut away the bursa.
Surgical treatment for tennis elbow is only recommended if your doctor determines that there are no other treatment options that will address the problem. Surgery should not be used when the condition is minor and confined to one area of the joint. The problem is severe if the problem continues or recurs.