How to Keep Tennis Elbow from Spoiling Your Game
Although tennis elbow was first commonly recognized in tennis players and, therefore, named after the game, it can affect players in other sports as well. If not diagnosed and treated quickly, tennis elbow can create weak, painful joints which can hinder and even knock a player out of their sport.
If treatment for tennis elbow is implemented within a short time after symptoms are discovered then the injury will have minimal impact on the athlete. Some treatments will even have the player back at full potential within a few weeks. However, if allowed to progress, tennis elbow could be detrimental to an athlete’s ability to perform as well as take time away from conditioning and playing.
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow can manifest in a variety of symptoms. The most common symptom is soreness and inflammation around the elbow itself, although similar symptoms can manifest in the wrist and radiate from the elbow into the shoulder as well. The affected area might also feel warm when touched.
If symptoms affect the hand, then the athlete may experience pain in the wrist when bending it either forwards or backwards. If this is the case, the athlete may find it difficult to grip such things as a bat, tennis racket, or even everyday items such as cups or other objects.
Treatments for Tennis Elbow
Depending on the severity of the injury and the doctor’s prognosis, tennis elbow may be treated in various ways. If caught early enough, extra rest and cold compresses applied several times throughout the day and for 20 minute periods will often allow the injury to heal within two or three weeks. Ice packs help reduce the swelling and pain, and rest allows the area to heal internally.
A doctor may also prescribe pain medications such as ibuprofen or stronger substances. Steroid injections can also be administered weekly for those who choose to remain active in their sport.
Acupuncture treatments are yet another option as is physical therapy, especially if the tennis elbow worsens in its condition. The athlete may be required to wear a support brace during play which will help prevent further damage to the area.
Depending on the type of sport which caused the injury, tennis elbow may be alleviated by simply altering certain techniques used in the sport. However, if an athlete doesn’t improve within an extended period of time (usually 1 year) then surgery may be required to repair tendon, muscle and nerve damage.
Catch It Early
The best remedy for overcoming the complications of tennis elbow is early detection. Therefore, if you have any of the relayed symptoms, you should make an appointment with a doctor immediately.
If caught early, tennis elbow can be effectively treated and you can return to full potential in your preferred sport. However, if it is allowed to progress, tennis elbow can severely affect your playing ability and game time as well as your everyday life.
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Date Published : 2011-10-26 11:45:36
Written By : Rod White
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