Tennis Elbow Symptoms
Patients with tennis elbow experience pain on the outside of the elbow that is worsened by grasping objects and cocking back the wrist. The most common symptoms of tennis elbow are:
Pain over the outside of the elbow
Pain when lifting objects
Pain radiating down the forearm
The pain associated with tennis elbow usually has a gradual onset, but it may also come on suddenly. Most patients with tennis elbow are between the ages of 35 and 65 years old, and it affects about an equal number of men and women. Tennis elbow occurs in the dominant arm in about 75 percent of people.
Therapeutic options for Tennis Elbow
Treatment starts with rest, ice, and gentle stretching. Using a forearm (tennis elbow) band that slips around the upper forearm takes tension off of the elbow and can reduce discomfort.
Pain can last from a few days to a few weeks. Occasionally, anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen can be used. A cortisone injection can be helpful in some cases, but should be reserved for the persistent pain that last more than six weeks, and it must not be done more than three times. There always is a risk of tendon rupture and breakdown of surrounding tissues as a result of a cortisone injection. After the inflammation subsides, heat, massage, and ultrasound treatment by a physiotherapist can speed up the rehabilitation process.
After the pain is relieved, it is important to prevent future recurrences of tennis elbow. This is first done by gently stretching the muscles and tendons of the forearm.