Tennis elbow is not always about playing the game.
Also known as lateral epicondylitis
, this is a condition in which the outer part of the elbow becomes painful and tender.
The pain may also extend into the back of the forearm and even weakening your grip. The onset of symptoms is generally gradual.
Tennis elbow is the most common condition seen when patients experience elbow pain and is thought to be due to small tears of the tendons that attach forearm muscles to the arm bone at the elbow joint. The age group most affected are between thirty and fifty, equally between males and females - and in most cases affecting the dominant arm.
Who are likely to develop tennis elbow?
Adults with professions that require consistent use of the upper arms and repetitive movements are especially prone to developing tennis elbow. This includes athletes, personal trainers, gardeners, painters, auto workers, landscapers, carpenters, cooks or butchers and plumbers.
Even if your job doesn’t require much use of your elbows or arms, if you spend a lot of time typing on the computer, knitting, cooking, painting or playing an instrument, it’s still possible to suffer from tennis elbow.
What are the symptoms of tennis elbow?
- Tenderness on the outside of the elbow
- Morning stiffness of the elbow with persistent aching
- Soreness of the forearm muscles
- Elbow pain is worse when grasping or holding an object (a sign that active inflammation is present because of the tendinitis)
treatment usually involves rest, wearing a forearm brace and taking an anti-inflammatory medication.
But there is more that you can do
In most cases, these more natural treatments will help reduce the pain, swelling and inflammation. But if you have a severe case of tennis elbow that doesn’t respond, you should obviously seek medical advice as some severe cases may even require surgical treatment.
Rest the affected arm as much as possible for the first couple of weeks.
- At the same time, rest your arm on a few pillows to keep it elevated above your heart.
- Make an appointment to see an osteopath. They will usually treat the area using deep soft-tissue massage, provide you with stretches and exercises while advising you on the best way to manage your condition. Simple stretching exercises can help with rehabilitation while there are a range of motion exercises that can help to reduce stiffness and increase flexibility.
- Try adding more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet.
- Before playing a sport, warm up properly and gently stretch your arm muscles to prevent injury.
- Of course inflammation is part of the problem. Change your diet to help reduce such inflammation. The focus should always be on eating a healthy diet with fresh, local whole foods but excluding pro-inflammatory foods such as processed and GM foods, trans fats, fried foods, high fructose corn syrup, sugar and grains.