A person holding a tennis racket while adjusting a a wrist band

Understanding Tennis Elbow

If you have experienced recurring pain in your elbow, you may be suffering from tennis elbow. Understanding the causes of this ailment can help prevent it from happening to you or having an existing condition worsen.

What Is Tennis Elbow?

A person holding a tennis racket while adjusting a a wrist band

Tennis elbow is the painful weakening of the tendon and muscle tissue in the elbow area. It is the result of repeated movement of the elbow, often from intense use. While it is named tennis elbow due to the association between the sport and the swinging of the racket, tennis makes up less than 10% of the causes of all cases of tennis elbow. Some common causes are:

  • Sports of all kinds that involve frequent and strenuous arm movement
  • Farming and gardening
  • Painting and other art-related activities
  • Overexposure to the mouse of a computer
  • A direct blow to the elbow area
  • Any other activity that requires continuous arm movement

When the elbow is constantly moving, inflammation can occur. Tennis elbow usually will not go away on its own, and the pain will only increase if not addressed. It’s important to visit a reputable orthopedic surgeon immediately.

Caring for Tennis Elbow

If you experience tennis elbow, the best thing that you can do is identify the cause of the problem. Once you do, take some time away from the activity. Medicine such as Tylenol and aspirin can help reduce the inflammation and relieve some of the pain. In more severe cases, a brace should be used while doing anything that requires the frequent movement of the elbow. Physical therapy is also an option that may help. Some techniques and exercises can be done to help warm up the elbow and reduce the chances of irritating the tendons and muscles in the area.

K. Mathew Warnock, MD has a great deal of experience at diagnosing and treating tennis elbow for patients in the Houston area. The severity varies from case to case, which means the treatment does, too. If you’re experiencing pain in your elbow, schedule an appointment as soon as possible to treat the problem and help prevent it from getting worse.

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