Pres Rx: Tennis Elbow

Repetitive motions like chopping and swinging havebeen known to wreak havoc on the body's joints. But have you ever consideredwhat these movements could be doing to your muscles and tendons? Thisweek, Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell talks about how athletes and trades people canprevent a painful condition called tennis elbow.

You don't have to be Serena or Venus Williams todevelop a condition called tennis elbow. According to the American Academy ofOrthopedic Surgeons, many peoplewith tennis elbow participate in work or recreational activities that requirerepetitive and vigorous use of the forearm muscle.

Tennis elbow is a painful inflammation of thetendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow. The musclesand 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 gripstrength.

Painters,plumbers, and carpenters between 30 and 50 years old areparticularly prone to developing tennis elbow. Studies have also shown thatauto mechanics, cooks and even butchers get tennis elbow more often than therest of the population.

There are manytreatment options for tennis elbow. The most common of which are rest,anti-inflammatory medicines (like ibuprofen), steroid injections and physicaltherapy.

Somedoctors may recommend athletes have their equipment checked for properfit, or that they wear a brace centered over the back of the forearm to restthe muscles and tendons and reduce the symptoms of tennis elbow.

More than 80% of patients diagnosed with tennis elbow have success withnon surgical treatment. However, if your symptoms don't improve after 6 to 12months, your doctor may recommend surgery.