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Tennis elbow introduction:

Tennis elbow refers to inflammation of the tendons of the elbow, specifically the lateral elbow. Tennis elbow is commonly caused by overuse of the forearm and hand muscles. Pain is often experienced during activities that require gripping.

You don't have to play tennis to develop tennis elbow. Similar to tennis elbow is golfer's elbow, which is the same process but on the inside part of the elbow.

Symptoms:

Pain would concentrate on outer side of elbow and would be aggravated by elbow and wrist exertion. Numbness and muscle atrophy would be resulted for severe and chronic cases. Minor daily living activities, e.g. opening door lock, heavy lifting, etc., would be greatly affected due to pain or decreased joint range of motion.

Consequence:

If osteophytes irritate nearby nerve roots, blood vessels or other soft tissues, pain, numbness and muscle atrophy would be resulted.

Cause:

prolonged and repetitive wrist and elbow movements would cause inflammation of tendons around the elbow joint.

Treatments:

Medication: pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs would help low grade signs and symptoms.

Physiotherapy: for acute tennis elbow, cryotherapy helps reduce inflammatory responses; heat treatment, short wave diathermy, ultrasound and interferential therapy would be used to promote blood circulation for chronic cases.

TENS: domestic use for symptomatic relief.