Is there pain slowly increasing on the outside of your elbows? Does the pain get worse when you shake your hands or tighten your grip? Are simple tasks like brushing your teeth, opening jars, and using a knife or a fork difficult because of the pain? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might have a tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis.
Despite its name, less than 5 percent of tennis elbow diagnoses are actually related to the sport. The term is commonly used to describe a condition caused by the overuse of arm, forearm, and hand muscles. Thus, aside from tennis and racquetball, many other factors cause tennis elbow.
If you feel you have this condition, get a proper diagnosis from your physician. For your doctor to confirm the diagnosis, he or she will conduct a physical exam and ask you to provide a detailed description of the pain; in rare cases, getting an X-ray may be necessary. Once a proper diagnosis is made, the appropriate treatment can be given.
Medical means can be used to treat tennis elbow. Physical therapy from physiotherapists can relieve pain. Electrotherapy, a non-invasive treatment used by physiotherapists, can also relieve pain and promote healing.
Untreated tennis elbows can last from 6 months to 2 years and becomes prone to recurrence. When experiencing pain around the elbow, it is best to visit a physiotherapist to provide proper diagnosis and treatment.