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How to tell if you have Tennis Elbow?

Updated on February 4, 2011

 To know if you are suffering from Lateral Epicondilytis, commonly known as tennis elbow, you should visit your GP. If the outer part of your elbow becomes tender and sore, then it is likely that you are affected by tennis elbow also known as archer's elbow. The cause of tennis elbow is usually overuse of muscles in the forearm and arm, it can affect people that have never picked up a tennis racket. Other sports often associated with tennis elbow are cricket (bowlers), swimmers and golfers. It even affects non sports occupations such as warehouse workers, cleaners, painter and decorators and builders. Generally anyone that has a repetitive action with their arms and forearms.

Tennis elbow affects the tendons and muscles around the area of the bony part of the elbow. If the pain is on the inside it can be referred to as golfers elbow.It commonly affects people in the 35 to 55 age range and affects men and women alike.

If you do suffer from this condition it can last a long time but, with treatment it will improve. Using painkillers for mild forms and with the aid of physiotherapy, the pain is likely to subside within a month. If you suffer from chronic tennis elbow you may have to endure a series of injections. It has been suggested that having botox injections around the elbow, will ease or even cure you of the pain. The usual form of injection would be a course of Steroids or cortisone, you are likely to require only one or two treatments and a few weeks of rest for the condition to improve.

To avoid the recurrance of tennis elbow, when you have a job that requires repetitive actions, can be difficult but, using a epicondylitis clasp or elbow support might help. When you feel the pain returning act fast and start repeating the treatment you know that works for you. A work colleague has been coming to work with a hot water bottle strapped to his elbow, as it works for him. Some people improve quicker though, by using ice packs. Try both and see which works for you.

Around 0.5% of people in the UK suffer from tennis elbow, 5 in every 1000. A typical duration of pain could be around 4 months but, some cases are known to have lasted up to two years.

If you do play tennis and regularly suffer from tennis elbow your best course of treatment might be to employ a tennis coach to check out your action and swing, as it may be down to poor technique. You may also, wish to improve the strength in your forearms to remove the excess strain on the tendons around the elbow.



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