Learn More About Tennis Elbow.
Your forearm is built up from a series of muscles that run from your wrist to the bony bump on your elbow called the lateral epicondyle. This area is often times impacted or damaged either through injury or through consistent overuse of the muscles and thus can become irritated and swollen. This condition is known as lateral epicondylitis or more frequently as "tennis elbow". To suffer from tennis elbow you do not have to play tennis. Any activity that causes stress and overuse of this muscle group can cause the condition.
If you are consistently doing activities that use a repetitive wrist extension then you are likely to get this condition at some point. The following actions are some of the most common that lead to "tennis elbow", i.e., tennis, carpentry, bricklaying, knitting, playing piano, typing, or lifting objects with your palm facing down. The condition is 3 times more likely to have an impact your dominant arm.
The pain often begins as a slight irritation or as a gradual discomfort during activity and continues to increase until even simple activities can result in pain. Pain in many cases will become worse when you straighten your arm, grip a doorknob or shake hands. The pain may fluctuate from mild to intense and commonly radiates into the forearm, sometimes to the wrist.
Without treatment, "tennis elbow" usually does not go away on its own and 8 out of 10 of patients still report pain after one year. The first step in a successful treatment plan is to try and rid your life of any activity that can cause symptoms. One simple thing you can do is to avoid sleeping with your elbow compressed beneath your pillow.
Also do your best to stay away from lifting heavy objects with your palm facing down. Tennis or racquetball players should consider selecting a lighter racket or a smaller handle. Another option is to use a "counter force brace" for your elbow. This brace will act as a temporary new attachment site for your muscles and thereby it will relieve some of the stress to your elbow. Other options include sports creams and home ice massage that may provide relief as well. Remember to be patient with your recovery!