Repetitive motions like chopping and swinging have been known to wreak havoc on the body's joints. But have you ever considered what these movements could be doing to your muscles and tendons? This week, Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell talks about how athletes and trades people can prevent a painful condition called tennis elbow.
You don't have to be Serena or Venus Williams to develop a condition called tennis elbow. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, many people with tennis elbow participate in work or recreational activities that require repetitive and vigorous use of the forearm muscle.
Tennis elbow is a painful inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow. The muscles and tendons become damaged from repeating the same motions again and again, resulting in pain or burning on the outer part of the elbow and weak grip strength.
Painters, plumbers, and carpenters between 30 and 50 years old are particularly prone to developing tennis elbow. Studies have also shown that auto mechanics, cooks and even butchers get tennis elbow more often than the rest of the population.
There are many treatment options for tennis elbow. The most common of which are rest, anti-inflammatory medicines (like ibuprofen), steroid injections and physical therapy.
Some doctors may recommend athletes have their equipment checked for proper fit, or that they wear a brace centered over the back of the forearm to rest the muscles and tendons and reduce the symptoms of tennis elbow.
More than 80% of patients diagnosed with tennis elbow have success with non surgical treatment. However, if your symptoms don't improve after 6 to 12 months, your doctor may recommend surgery.