Tennis Elbow is a common cause of elbow pain. Despite its name – you don’t have to play tennis to suffer from it. Although it’s true that tennis players and other “racquet sports” players are prone to this injury, other activities, both at home and at work can trigger tennis elbow and cause you to say “my elbow hurts”.
Tennis elbow is typically caused by the overuse of your arm, forearm, and hand muscles. It occurs when you injure the area where the muscles and tendons of your forearm attach to the outside bony area of your elbow. Most of the time, the pain comes on gradually – making it difficult to pinpoint the cause. Occasionally a specific activity may cause it, such as shoveling heavy snow, or tackling a home renovation project. Other activities like overdoing it in your garden pulling weeds and digging, or using a chainsaw for a long period of time can also cause symptoms to appear.
Check out our video “Treating Tennis & Golfer’s Elbow with the 3pp Elbow Wrap” – View Video
Depending on the severity of your injury and the length of time you’ve had symptoms, your pain may feel like a constant ache in your elbow area, or may occur only with activities that involve reaching, grasping, or lifting. Usually the pain is worse when lifting with the elbows straight, for example, reaching into the refrigerator and pulling out a jug of milk. Sometimes a catching sensation may be felt when you move your elbow, and sometimes moving your wrist and elbow through its full range of motion may be uncomfortable.
It’s important that you see a healthcare professional for a correct diagnosis before you attempt to treat it, as there are other conditions which can cause similar symptoms. Your healthcare provider may recommend may prescribe a elbow brace/band to wear on your forearm. The purpose of an elbow brace is to spread the pressure over your muscles so that the injured area doesn’t take the full force. When wearing a brace, it’s very important not to over tighten it, as you may cause a “pinching” of your radial nerve. Bands such as the 3pp Elbow Wrap are designed so that you can localize the pressure, without wrapping the entire band too tightly around your arm.
Your healthcare provider may also suggest you try therapy to help you manage your condition. In the beginning, the therapist may recommend trying moist heat, cold packs, or therapeutic ultrasound to encourage circulation and healing. Therapeutic ultrasound is a treatment commonly used in physical therapy. It is used to provide deep heating to soft tissues in the body. Gentle stretching and massage to the painful muscles may also help. After the pain has subsided, a careful, strengthening program can also help.
Finally, for sports injuries, it may be a good idea to take a lesson from a professional instructor, for example a tennis or golf pro. These professionals may be able to quickly pinpoint habits you may have developed that are contributing to your condition.Like what you’ve read? Click here to subscribe to the blog!
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How to Use an Elbow Wrap for Tennis or Golfer’s elbow