Tennis elbow is the common term used for pain near the elbow on the outside of the upper arm. The discomfort can be caused by a series of small tears in a tendon, which are the fibers that connect muscle tissue to bone. These small tears are often the result of muscle overuse and repetition. Over time, these small tears become irritating and become the underlying cause of arm pain. Tennis elbow is most commonly found in people who participate in a lot of racquet sports or perform a lot of manual labor that involves wrist movement. Plumbers, cooks, repairmen, and painters are all examples of occupations that are at a higher risk for tennis elbow. Recently, tennis the condition has also been a result of excessive computer and mouse usage.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
A medical history and a physical exam will normally be enough for Dr. Urbanosky to diagnose tennis elbow. An x-ray would usually appear normal, so the best diagnostic tool for tennis elbow is pain. Symptoms of tennis elbow include:
After the first incidence of pain, rest from activity and use of an anti-inflammatory medication is recommended. If the injury is sports related, a break from and examination of activity level is also suggested. The discomfort may reduce when simple accommodations are made.
If pain does not go away in the short term, there are many non-surgical options. Sometimes, cortisone shots or other medication may be used to relieve pain. Additionally, daily exercises could strengthen the muscle around the elbow and provide relief. Braces can be used to stabilize the arm and take pressure off of the muscle.
If non-surgical temporary treatments don’t help after an extended period of time, Dr. Urbanosky might recommend surgery to remove portions of damaged tissue.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Urbanosky about your elbow condition, please call: (815) 462-3474.
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