Friday, March 17, 2023

Pain Relief From Tennis Elbow

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7 Best Tennis Elbow Pain Relief Treatments (Lateral Epicondylitis) – Ask Doctor Jo

Article: Addition of isolated wrist extensor eccentric exercise to standard treatment for chronic lateral epicondylosis: A prospective randomized trial

Participants: 21 patients with chronic unilateral lateral epicondylosis

Study Summary: Patients were randomly assigned to either an eccentric training group or a standard treatment group. Both groups received similar treatment, except the standard treatment group also performed isotonic wrist extensor strengthening and the eccentric group performed isolated eccentric wrist extensor strengthening .

The study looked at several measures including VAS scores to measure pain, DASH to measure subjective disability, hand dynamometer readings to measure strength, and pressure algometer readings to measure tenderness.

Study Statistics: The eccentric group improved their pain level 81% compared to only 22% in the standard treatment group. The FlexBar group also improved their DASH score 76% vs. 15% in the standard group. Additionally, strength improved 79% in the eccentric group, but only 15% in the standard treatment group.

Overall Results: The eccentric program proved to be an effective method of treating chronic lateral epicondylitis. It reduced pain and disability and improved strength more than the standard treatment group. In fact, the results were so much better compared to the other group, that the study was terminated so all participants could benefit from the more effective treatment.

Supination With A Dumbbell

The supinator muscle is a large muscle of your forearm that attaches into your elbow. Its responsible for turning your palm up and is often involved in movements that can cause tennis elbow.

For all the supination exercises listed below, its recommended that you first practice isometric supination without weights: With your elbow fixed, rotate your palm up and hold for about 30 seconds.

Equipment needed: table and 1-pound dumbbell

Muscles worked: supinator muscle

  • Sit in a chair, holding a 2-pound dumbbell vertically in your hand, with your elbow resting on your knee.
  • Let the weight of the dumbbell help rotate your arm outward, turning your palm up.
  • Rotate your hand back in the other direction until your palm is facing down.
  • Repeat 20 times on each side.
  • Try to isolate the movement to your lower arm, keeping your upper arm and elbow still.
  • How Is Tennis Elbow Treated

    Treatment for tennis elbow aims to reduce elbow pain and restore normal movement and function. Self-care measures and long term strengthening are key to the treatment of tennis elbow. Treatment may include physiotherapy and medication. Surgery is only an option in the rare case when pain does not subside with continued self-care, strengthening exercises, physiotherapy and medication.

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    How Can I Prevent Tennis Elbow

    These steps can help you avoid tennis elbow:

    • Don’t push through pain. Pain is your bodys way of talking to you, and you need to listen. Pushing through pain can lead to damage to your tendon and potential tearing.
    • Check equipment for proper fit. For example, stiff or loose-strung racquets may reduce stress on your forearm.
    • Lift weights to strengthen forearms and wrist muscles.
    • Stretch wrists and arms before starting work or an activity.
    • Wear an elbow brace to keep symptoms from worsening.

    Causes Of Tennis Elbow

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    Tennis elbow develops when the muscles and tendons in your forearm become damaged. This happens if youre repeating the same motion over and over again. Tiny tears develop in the muscles and over time that leads to swelling and thickening.

    Some activities, situations and jobs make developing tennis elbow more likely. These include:

    • any job where you are doing a lot of heavy lifting or using heavy tools
    • jobs where you are making repeated movements in an awkward position for example, squeezing or twisting movements that can include typing and using a mouse
    • movements in your forearm that youre not used to for example, taking up a new hobby, doing DIY such as hammering or painting, or moving to a new house
    • being unfit or having a poor technique when youre playing racquet sports such as tennis for example, not holding the racquet properly

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    What Are Symptoms Of Tennis Elbow

    Tennis elbow usually affects the dominant arm . Symptoms of tennis elbow include:

    • Pain that may have a sudden onset or that develops gradually over time
    • Pain in the elbow that spreads into the upper arm or down to the forearm
    • Pain when lifting or bending the arm
    • Forearm weakness
    • Difficulty with activities requiring arm strength, such as sports that that involve hitting backhand or throwing a ball
    • Pain when gripping objects
    • Pain on twisting the forearm, such as when opening a jar or turning a doorknob
    • Pain and stiffness on full arm extension

    How Is Tennis Elbow Diagnosed

    Tennis elbow diagnosis usually occurs after a thorough history and physical exam by a medical professional. Outer elbow pain and tenderness are the hallmark symptoms, and when combined with a history of repetitive activity, tennis elbow certainly comes to the forefront of possible diagnoses. Patients rarely need X-rays or MRIs for diagnosis unless symptoms are atypical or not responding to activity modification or treatment.

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    Diagnosis Of Tennis Elbow

    You may not need to see a doctor if you think you have tennis elbow. You may be able to treat it at home. But if your symptoms get worse and self-help and over-the-counter painkillers aren’t working, contact your GP for advice.

    Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and examine your elbow. Youll be asked to move your arm and elbow in different ways to see which are painful. Your GP may ask about your medical history, what job you do and any hobbies you have which may have caused your symptoms. Your GP will usually be able to diagnose tennis elbow without needing to do other tests.

    If your GP isnt sure whether or not you have tennis elbow, they may arrange for you to have tests such as an X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan or MRI scan. These give detailed images of your elbow joint and can help to find out whats causing your symptoms.

    How Can Exercise Help Tennis Elbow

    STOP Your Elbow Pain (Tennis Elbow) in 90 Seconds, Self Treatment

    As mentioned, the NHS advises that physio exercises can encourage blood flow to the area, which in turn relieves stiffness and pain. Gambardella adds that exercises can also strengthen your forearms and elbows, which also reduce pain. She caveats, however, that a physiotherapist will be able to offer you more individual advice on the best exercises for you, to help you safely return to your exercise routine.

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    When To See A Doctor

    Most cases of elbow pain will get better on their own or with simple self-help treatments. You should see a doctor if:

    • your pain doesnt improve after two weeks of taking painkillers and resting your elbow, and you havent had an injury or infection
    • you have tingling, numbness or weakness in your arm or hand.

    You should visit a hospitals accident and emergency department straight way if:

    • you notice symptoms such as severe pain that stops you from moving your arm, swelling, fever, heat and redness. These can sometimes be signs of infection.
    • you think youve fractured your elbow this will probably follow an obvious injury such as a direct impact or fall onto an outstretched hand. A fracture will cause pain and usually bruising and swelling.

    Elbow Exercises Not Doing The Trick

    Cooling with an ice pack can only help so much. Whether you have been suffering from symptoms of Tennis Elbow for a while or have pain when lifting, its never too early to consult your doctor about prevention and treatment to overcome your pain and regain movement without discomfort.

    Resources & References

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    Here are some statistics about this fact. One every 20 tennis players suffer from tennis elbow whereas there are a huge number of people without playing tennis elbow catching this problem.

    Tennis elbow is caused by using the muscles as well as tendons around the joint of your elbow or your forearm too much. The repeated contraction of forearm muscles that you use to straighten as well as raise your wrists and hands is the culprit of tennis elbow.

    Apart from playing tennis, other common arm motions may cause tennis elbow are:

    • Repetitive use of computer mouse
    • Cutting cooking ingredients like meat

    What Are Symptoms Of Tennis Elbow?

    Symptoms of tennis elbow depend on its severity. Commonly, you find that your elbow and writs are painful when holding and lifting objects. Symptoms of tennis elbow develop steadily. Most often, pain starts mildly and slowly gets worse over time. No specific injury is associated with the beginning of tennis elbow symptoms .

    • Common symptoms of tennis elbow are:
    • Weak grip strength

    Burning or pain on the outer area of the elbow

    These symptoms will become worse when you use forearm activity, like turning a wrench, shaking hands, or holding the racquet. The most affected arm is your dominant, but two arms could also be impacted.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Tennis Elbow

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    Tennis elbow is characterized by pain and tenderness on the outer side of the elbow that radiates down the forearm and increases when:

    • Gripping objects
    • Twisting the forearm
    • Raising the hand
    • Straightening the wrist

    Tennis elbow is common, affecting almost 1%-3% of the population. While it can affect people of any age group, people ages 40 and over are most at risk.

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    When To Contact Your Gp

    You should avoid the activity that is causing the pain until your symptoms improve.

    If the pain in your elbow does not go away after a few days of rest, contact your GP.

    Your GP will check for swelling and tenderness. They will do some simple tests. These include stretching out your fingers and flexing your wrist while your elbow is stretched out.

    Your GP might do more tests if they think there is nerve damage. These might include an ultrasound scan or an MRI scan.

    Treatments For Tennis Elbow

    Lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, occurs mainly in the tendons of the forearm muscles which are attached to the outside of the elbow. It is an overuse injury that is caused by repeated elbow and wrist motions. The condition is characterized by pain on the outer side of the elbow, forearm, and wrist, and it often gets worse when you use them with force or squeeze things.

    Although tennis elbow can heal on its own, it can last for several weeks to months. Below are some of the recommended treatment options to help relieve its symptoms and get you on the road to a complete recovery as quickly as possible:

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    Treatments Abound But What Works

    Many treatments relieve the pain, but in most cases only temporarily. Sometimes the best approach is to simply give the elbow a rest.

    Here are some strategies that may help you prevent further injury to the tendon, relieve pain and inflammation, and preserve or restore function.

    Initial treatment. Cut back on movements and activities that cause pain in the affected elbow, forearm, and wrist. For additional pain relief, apply ice to the epicondyle for 15 to 20 minutes every four to six hours for the first day or so. Oral over-the-counter pain relievers may also help, but because of the risk of side effects, don’t take them for more than four weeks. Some people find that it helps to wear an orthotic around the forearm.

    Intermediate steps. If symptoms persist, your clinician may recommend a corticosteroid injection. This often provides immediate relief, but don’t take that as a go-ahead to return to activities that aggravate tennis elbow. After the injection, you’ll be given a program to follow that includes rest, ice, and acetaminophen, followed by physical therapy. Repeated injections can cause tissue atrophy, so clinicians usually recommend no more than two to four, even in cases of chronic pain.

    Other measures. Surgery is an option in rare cases when the symptoms have lasted more than a year despite rest and other efforts to relieve pain and restore function.

    When Should You Avoid Tennis Elbow Exercises

    One Minute Tennis Elbow Exercises for Quick Pain Relief & Cure.

    Though the experts advise that doing tennis elbow exercises daily is generally your best bet, there are times when you should definitely ease off. If you experience any sharp pain, stop doing them immediately, says Gambardella. Then speak to a physiotherapist and explain your situation.

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    Physical Therapy For Tennis Elbow

    Tennis elbow is common among athletes who participate in racket sports, such as tennis and squash, because of the high and repetitive forces these sports place on the wrist extensor muscles, says Rami Hashish, PhD, DPT.

    Hashish is the founder of the National Biomechanics Institute and the founder and chief technological officer of pareIT. He says the fundamental goal for physical therapy is to help restore function while managing inflammation and pain.

    The approach is to utilize exercise to help improve the strength, flexibility, and endurance of the affected muscles and tendons, he says. Other techniques, such as ice massage, electrical stimulation, or bracing may also help control pain and inflammation.

    According to Hashish, strengthening exercises that help treat tennis elbow include some of the moves listed above, such as the weighted wrist extension, weighted wrist flexion, and weighted wrist rotation, as well as ball squeezes and towel twists.

    In addition, stretching the wrist extensors and flexors also improves the flexibility of these muscle groups.

    According to Hashish, for weighted wrist flexion and extension, you want to keep your elbow at approximately 90 degrees, hold a weight in your hand, raise your hand, and then slowly lower your hand.

    In the case of wrist extension, you rotate your palm down, whereas in wrist flexion, you rotate it up.

    How Does The Elbow Work

    The elbow joint is where the long bone at the top of your arm, known as the humerus, meets the two bones in your forearm called the radius and the ulna. Its a hinge joint, and it allows you to bend your arm. The upper part of the radius can rotate so you can twist your forearm.

    The end of the humerus has two bony parts that you can feel at either side of your elbow. These are:

    • the lateral epicondyle on the outside of your arm
    • the medial epicondyle on the inside of your arm.

    Muscles attached to the outside of the humerus help you straighten your wrist and fingers. These are connected to the brain and nervous system through the radial nerve, which travels on the outside of the elbow.

    Muscles attached to the inside of the humerus help you bend your wrist and fingers, and let you grasp objects. These muscles are connected to the brain and nervous system through the median nerve, which runs in front of the elbow.

    The ulnar nerve, which is on the inside of the elbow is mainly responsible for the movements of the small muscles of the hand. These are useful for precise and delicate hand movements. The feeling of hitting your funny bone is caused by the ulnar nerve being pinched.

    There are also strong cords in the elbow that help to hold the joint in place. Tendons attach muscles to bones and ligaments link bones together.

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    Changing How You Move

    The first thing to do if you have elbow pain is to change, or possibly stop, any movements that might be causing your symptoms or making them worse. Flare-ups of some conditions, where the symptoms become suddenly worse, can be eased by avoiding bending the elbow into certain positions.

    If you do any tasks for work that involve repetitive movements such as using a screwdriver or painting, its worth discussing this with an occupational therapist. These are healthcare professionals who can suggest how to change your movements and ways to support your elbow while its healing.

    A GP can refer you to an occupational therapist, or you can see one privately.

    If your workplace has an occupational health department, they should be able to help.

    What Do The Professionals Say About The Theraband Flexbar

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    The eccentric Tyler Twist exercise is a key part of our comprehensive treatment programme for tennis elbow in our clinic. The evidence behind this exercise is compelling and the patient response has been excellent in the overall treatment of this common malady.

    -Todd Ellenbecker, DPT, MS, SCS, OCS, CSCSRehab Plus Sports Therapy Scottsdale, AZ

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    Tennis Elbow Is Caused By Overuse Of The Forearm Muscles

    You dont have to play tennis to develop a common condition known as tennis elbow. Caused by repetitive overuse of the forearm muscles, tennis elbow happens when the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outer side of the elbow become inflamed or develop tiny tears, leading to pain and tenderness. Its a painful and sometimes debilitating problem, but several tennis elbow treatments can help relieve pain.

    What causes tennis elbow?

    To understand tennis elbow, it helps to understand your elbow anatomy. Three bones make up your elbow joint: your upper arm bone and the two bones in your forearm . Muscles, ligaments and tendons hold the elbow joint together. The bony bump on the outside of the elbow is called the lateral epicondyle.

    The clinical term for tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis, and it involves the muscles and tendons that help stabilize your wrist when you straighten your elbow, says Michael Hadley, MD, a family medicine physician with expertise in sports medicine at Scripps Coastal Medical Center Encinitas. People who play racquet sports, such as tennis or pickleball, repeatedly use these muscles when they swing at the ball, but tennis elbow can also result from any repetitive activity that strains the forearm or uses repetitive extension of the wrist or hand.

    Tennis elbow symptoms usually begin with mild pain or burning on the outer part of your elbow that slowly worsens over time. Your grip strength may be weaker, and you may have pain at night.

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