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Orthopedics and Traumatology

Tennis elbow

Epicondylitis is a painful disease, in most cases it is generated by a bad performance of sport.

Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral is a painful disease; in most cases, it is generated due to poor sports performance. This is caused by repetitive movements of the wrist and arm, which occurs when the elbow tendons contract unconsciously.

Regardless of the name of this condition, athletes are not the only ones who develop this disease known as tennis elbow. Commonly, people whose trades are: painter, carpenter, butcher, a plumber can develop the tennis elbow due to the movements they perform.

The place where elbow pain usually occurs is where the tendons of the forearm muscles join the bony protuberance on the outside of the elbow. The pain can also spread to the forearm and wrist.

Pain can be mitigated by resting and using over-the-counter pain relievers. In case this does not work, the doctor may suggest surgery.

Epicondylitis is a muscle injury, caused by repeated contraction of the forearm muscles that you use to extend and lift your hand and wrist.

Both repeated movements and the effort made by the tissues can cause small tears of the tendons connecting the muscles of the upper arm bony prominence on the outside of the elbow.

We group some of the movements that can cause epicondylitis:

  • Cut ingredients for cooking

  • Performing repetitive backhand strokes without proper technique, this is common in sports

  • Paint

  • Perform screwdriver and screwdriver movements

  • Repetitive use of the computer mouse

  • Use plumber tools

Some of the symptoms that may occur are: 

  • Pain, the discomfort that can spread from the outside of the elbow to the forearm and wrist 

  • Pain and weakness when shaking hands or holding an object 

  • Difficulty turning the doorknob 

  • Difficulty holding a cup of coffee

Risk factors 
The risk factors that increase the probability of suffering tennis elbow are: 

  • Age, people between 30 and 50 are more likely to suffer from tennis elbow 

  • Some sports, such as racket sports 

  • Occupation, repetitive work on the arm and wrist can cause this injury to the person, for example, painters, athletes, drivers, mechanics, etc.

Diagnosis of tennis elbow 
The traumatologist or orthopedic doctor will be in charge of doing a physical exam, will ask some of the questions related to your medical history, and will analyze the affected area to find the cause of the problem. If necessary, the doctor may perform x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment of Tennis Elbow
In most cases, the tennis elbow injury improves on its own; treatment varies depending on its severity.

The methods for recovering from a sprain are:

  • Rest of the arm, at least for 2 or 3 weeks

  • Put some ice to the affected area for 10 to 20 minutes

  • Over-the-counter medications that help control pain and deflate

  • Physiotherapy

In some cases, where the injury is more serious, the doctor may suggest surgery.

In case the pain is due to doing some sports activity, Your doctor may suggest a change in the movement of your technique, the physical therapist can show you exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles of your forearm.

¿When to see a doctor?
In case of presenting some of the symptoms mentioned, go to the doctor. The Orthopedist or Traumatologist is in charge of treating these types of diseases; the specialist will be in charge of making a diagnosis to identify the cause of the symptoms and identify the severity of the injury. 

When consulting your doctor, we recommend keeping a record of your pain with a detailed description of the symptoms, duration, and what you think triggered them. Also, mention any medications you are taking.

BlueNetHospitals - Hospital Los Cabos 
BlueNet Hospitals