How To Prevent Tennis Elbow – PickleballMate

Suffering from tennis elbow? Let’s learn how to prevent tennis elbow fast.

In our everyday lives, we encounter different situations that require the use of our hands and arms. From household chores to playing games/sports, the necessary use of our arms and hands tends to put pressure on our limbs, that we often neglect. Also, check the How to Become a Professional Pickleball Player?

Tennis elbow is one such condition that gets ignored frequently. ‘Tennis elbow’ or ‘Elbow Tendonitis’ (inflammation of the elbow), as the name suggests, occurs in tennis players in most cases, but tennis players are not the only ones who encounter this condition; squash players, badminton players, golf players and people who frequently use their hands and arms. Middle-aged people are more prone to develop elbow tendinitis.

What is a Tennis Elbow?

Tennis Elbow is a condition where the pain is likely to be felt around the elbow knob. It is an injury to the muscle and not to the bone. It is mainly caused due to overuse or overstretching of your elbow joint. Due to this the muscle known as “Extensor Carpi Radialis’ gets damaged, resulting in inflammation of the tendon and pain around your elbow. In medical terms, as we know that Extensor Carpi Radialis is located in the lateral compartment of your forearm and attached to your epicondyle, hence this condition can also be known as ‘Lateral Epicondylitis.’

Doctors frequently recommend stretches to avoid tennis elbow and suggest precautionary measures to prevent elbow tendonitis. Also, check the What is Let Serve in Pickleball?

Moreover, this condition may go on its own and does not require high-quality treatments to treat it and can heal on its own, but in some cases, elbow tendonitis can not be avoided. It may cause tissue rupture and can pose a severe threat to the person; in these cases, quick medical attention is required.

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow:

  • Pain outside the elbow
  • Pain while opening the door
  • Pain when clenching fist
  • Pain while gripping something forcefully
  • Pain when raising your arms
  • Pain while typing or writing or lifting something
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Stiff hands
  • Numbness
  • Tingling

Furthermore, the pain in the elbow can also be caused due to many other reasons, and one such reason may be because of a condition known as GOLFER’S ELBOW. A golfer’s elbow is in a similar condition as that of a tennis elbow, and the tennis elbow pain can usually be mistaken for a golfer’s elbow.

‘Medial Epicondylitis’  is a condition in the Golfer’s elbow, where two main muscles of the medial compartment of the forearm, the flexor carpi radialis and pronator teres, are damaged. In this case, flexion and pronation of the arm are lost, resulting in elbow stiffness and irritation. Also, check the What Pickleball Paddles do the Pros Use?

The main difference between the two conditions is that elbow pain is felt outside the elbow in tennis, whereas in a golfer, elbow pain is felt inside the elbow.

Treatment for Tennis Elbow:

A perfect and less troubling thing is that the tennis elbow can be healed independently. You just have to give rest to your hands and arms, and you have to reduce your workload for some time. Have to stop lifting heavy stuff and need to give yourself a break.

Some methods are listed below to treat tennis elbow:

  • Giving yourself quality rest.
  • Use ice on your elbow. It helps relieve the pain. Do it every ten to twenty minutes until the pain subsides.
  • Using an elbow strap to prevent further tearing of the tendon reduces friction.
  • Injections such as; NSAIDs, ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.
  • Antibiotics prescribed by doctors to relieve pain
  • Ultrasound on doctor’s recommendation
  • Physiotherapy and specific exercises under your doctor’s supervision.
  • Plasma therapy

And in serious conditions, a surgical process may be performed to remove the damaged tissues.

Prevention of Tennis Elbow

Once you have experienced the excruciating pain of the tennis elbow, you must be looking and asking for help to prevent it from occurring again. Also, check the Difference Between Indoor vs. Outdoor Pickleballs.

Here are certain ways through which you can prevent a tennis elbow:

  • Warm up properly before playing any sport that requires excessive arm activity.
  • Gently stretch your arms.
  • Do chin-ups.
  • Push-ups.
  • Avoid frequent wrist exercises.
  • Invest in a good instructor or trainer who can help you teach helpful techniques for your gameplay that would also be helpful in preventing tennis elbow.
  • Choose sports equipment that requires you to put less pressure when holding it while providing ease to your arms.
  • The condition known as self-limitation can help get rid of tennis elbow on its own. One should stop doing the activity that caused elbow tendonitis in the first place and give some rest to your injured arm. Depending on the injury’s severity, a few weeks are more than enough for it to heal.

Stretches to Avoid and Prevent Elbow Tennis:

Many facing elbow tendinitis is always looking for a way to avoid specific painful elbow condition. Caused by repetitive movement and excessive activities of arms, tennis elbow can be cured through specific exercises or stretches. These exercises are often recommended to athletes who are preparing for tournament games. Still, ordinary people who develop tennis elbow and are looking to avoid/prevent it soon can also try these stretches and exercises.

Wrist Stretches:

You need to keep your elbow real straight. Use your other hand to slightly bend the wrist downwards.

Hold the stretch for a minute, then still having your elbow straight, use your other hand and bend the hand upward.

Keep it for 30 seconds. Also, check the What to Wear for Pickleball?

Repeat this process 2 to 3 times a day; this will help you relax your hand muscles and increase blood circulation.

Supinator Stretch:

Bend one of your elbows and keep it close to your body. Your palm must be facing down.

Place the other hand over your other wrist, rotate it gently, and turn it upward until you feel a stretch in your forearm.

Repeating the exercise 4, or 5 times a day may give good results.

Extensor Stretching:

Place your arms on the chest, back of the hands facing each other, elbows bend.

Now raise the wrist till the stretch is felt on your forearm.

Hold it for some time.

Clenching ball:

Using and squeezing a stress ball with force can also help in this condition.

Release the ball slowly. This will also help in the relaxation of nerves.

If your hand is swollen, release the ball quickly.

Repeat this exercise in a pumping manner.

Fingers Extension and Abduction:

Hold a rubber band between your fingers.

Now abduct them and then extend them.

Repeat it 2 to 3 times a day for 5 minutes.

Massage:

Massage can also help in relieving the pain caused by elbow tendonitis. The massage generally will not occur on the elbow joint but on the muscles, shoulders, arms, neck, and back. It will help in relaxing the tensed muscles as well.

Conclusion:

If someone has tennis elbow tendinitis, they usually experience pain on the outside of the elbow extending to the whole arm. When gripping something, twisting your forearm, and lifting something, will generate excruciating pain. With stiffness in hand when fully extended, one should be aware of these symptoms to get the treatment adequately done. Also, check the How to Regrip Your Pickleball Paddle?

FAQs: 

What is a tennis elbow?

It is a condition in which pain often develops on the outside of an elbow due to the overuse of forearm muscles.

How to avoid tennis elbow?

Before any activity that requires excessive use of forearm muscles, warm up and do some stretching to relax your muscles.

What is the best treatment for tennis elbow?

The best treatment for tennis elbow is to stop doing the work or the activity that caused the problem. Then put an ice bag on the injury to soothe the pain; this will also help relax muscles.

How does elbow tendonitis occur?

Excessive use of your arms and hand muscles can cause elbow tendonitis. This causes the straining of muscles and stiffness in your arms, which can be painful to deal with. It causes redness around your elbow, and to relieve it, certain exercises and stretches to avoid tendinitis and medications are prescribed.

How is tennis elbow treated?

It is treated by giving yourself and your forearm some rest. Stretches and exercises are also beneficial in treating elbow tendonitis. Apart from that, homemade remedies like icing are also helpful in treating tennis elbow.

Major symptoms of tennis elbow?

Some major symptoms to look for when treating elbow tendonitis are stiffness in the forearm, redness around the elbow, pain around that area, and warmth.

Does Elbow tendinitis require how much time to heal?

Some people may recover from elbow tendinitis within a couple of weeks. Whereas, for some people, it takes months or maybe a year to recover.

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