3 Interesting Facts You May Not Know About Tennis Elbow

One day you wake up with an ache just on the outside of your elbow. A few weeks or months go by and the feeling worsens. By then, you’re suffering from a severe burning sensation. You notice your grip weaken. Your elbow feels extremely sensitive to the touch. Anything from shaving to shaking hands to lifting objects as light as a cup of tea becomes excruciating.

If this sounds familiar, you might have tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, a form of tendinitis. Now, you may think that’s just ridiculous; you don’t even play tennis! Well, you don’t even have to pick up a racket to develop tennis elbow. The injury affects 1%-3% of people in the United States,  typically those ages 30-50.

The good news, though, is that once you understand more about this common injury, you can take the necessary steps to treat and avoid it. With that in mind, let’s serve up three interesting facts about tennis elbow:

1. You can get it without playing tennis

Stress on the elbow from work or sports is typically the main cause of tennis elbow. It’s reported that half of all tennis players may eventually develop this overuse injury, but less than 1 in 10 people who suffer tennis elbow actually plays the sport.

Many fencers, baseball players, and even football players experience tennis elbow. What’s more, around 5% of people who have jobs that involve repetitive arm movements or who regularly use vibrating tools also develop the injury. This includes musicians, dentists, nail technicians, painters, and carpenters.

2. It’s not just your elbow that’s examined

When you visit us at One Oak Medical complaining of pain in your elbow, we won’t just examine your elbow. We conduct a thorough inspection of your entire upper body before we make a diagnosis.

Of course, we carefully inspect your elbow, too. We look at its appearance, range of motion, stability, and strength. With a thorough exam, we can rule out any other causes of your elbow pain, such as arthritis or nerve damage.

3. You probably won’t need surgery

Around 80% to 90% of tennis elbow cases resolve on their own or with the help of a combination of treatments. Home therapies include over-the-counter pain relievers, ice, and exercises, and you should try to avoid the movement that caused the pain in the first place. Tennis elbow usually resolves within 6-12 months.

Signs you may have tennis elbow

If you experience recurring pain on the outside of your upper forearm, you may have tennis elbow. You may feel the pain when you lift or bend your arm, or while performing basic actions, such as gripping a small object or even attempting to write.

Tennis elbow can also cause pain when you twist your forearm. This is most noticeable when you try to fully extend your forearm, or when carrying out movements like turning a door handle.

Seeking treatment for tennis elbow

At One Oak Medical, we provide specialized treatment options for tennis elbow and other tendinitis injuries.

When you visit us with elbow pain, we perform a thorough examination to determine the cause. Based on our diagnosis, we may recommend a combination of treatments, including rest, physical therapy, and even regenerative therapies such as prolotherapy or platelet-rich plasma therapy.

If, after nonsurgical treatments, you still experience pain from tennis elbow, we may have to consider surgery. If you’re suffering from pain in your elbow, book an appointment with One Oak Medical today to discuss your treatment options.

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