Do you have pain and tenderness in or around your elbow? If you’re not a tennis player, you might be surprised to find out that these are hallmark signs of tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), a type of tendonitis that develops when the elbow tendons are overused and strained. If you’ve injured your elbow, you can find the effective treatment you need at Premier Bone & Joint Centers in Riverton, Wyoming. Our outstanding team includes board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and elbow specialists who can determine whether your discomfort is caused by tennis elbow and suggest an appropriate treatment plan.
Despite what its name suggests, tennis elbow does not exclusively affect athletes who play racquet sports. The primary cause is repetitive arm and wrist movements, which can be completely unrelated to tennis. The pain may intensify when the elbow tendons are stressed through activities that involve gripping and lifting, but any arm movement may be painful. Typically, the pain originates at the point where the forearm tendons attach to the bony bump on the elbow (the lateral epicondyle) and radiates down the forearm into the wrist and hand.
How Is Tennis Elbow Treated?
The symptoms of tennis elbow may improve on their own, but it can take up to two years for the pain to completely go away. For relief in the meantime, some potentially effective treatment options include:
- Activity modifications – After a brief rest, it may be helpful to learn and use proper gripping and lifting techniques. Any activities that cause or contribute to the pain should be temporarily avoided until the injury heals.
- Bracing – A special tennis elbow strap can be wrapped around the forearm just below the elbow to stabilize the arm and reduce stress on the elbow tendons.
- Physical therapy – Stretches, strengthening exercises, and heat applications can help alleviate elbow pain.
- Medications – Pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be taken as directed to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Corticosteroid injections – A powerful anti-inflammatory medication can be injected directly into the inflamed area of the elbow.
In general, surgical treatment for tennis elbow is considered only when the pain is debilitating, has persisted for several months, and has not improved with conservative treatment. This type of surgery, which is usually performed in an outpatient setting, involves relieving pressure on the injured elbow tendons and repairing damaged tendon tissue.
At Premier Bone & Joint Center, you can explore your treatment options for tennis elbow with a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon. Contact us today to request an appointment with an orthopedic specialist at our satellite clinic in Riverton, WY.