Tennis elbow can quickly bring your tennis game to a halt. While this injury is commonly found in tennis players, it can also be found in chefs, construction workers, and painters. The reason behind this is because the wrist is constantly shifting from a flexed forward position to an extended back position. The muscles in the forearm that work the wrist also connect into the outside of the elbow. When constantly being stretched and contracted the tendons in the elbow begin to wear and tear. This causes inflammation in the elbow joint and thus creates pain when the elbow fully extends.
To prevent this injury from occurring it would be wise to take more frequent breaks, whether on the court or at work a little rest can go a long way. If this injury occurs in while playing tennis you could ask a coach to look at your technique to possibly change bad form that is causing the injury. Another option might be to try playing with a lighter weighted racquet. If the racquet is too heavy you are putting extra strain on the tendons which will most likely result in tennis elbow.
If you are unlucky enough to encounter this injury, there are some things you can do to help with the recovery process. The first and best option to recovery is rest. Allow time for the tendons to repair themselves naturally and avoid putting strain on the elbow. Ice and anti-inflammatory medicine will help reduce inflammation and will aid to the recovery process. Another option would be to meet with a physical or occupational therapist to receive exercises that will help strengthen the muscles and tendons in the forearm. If pain still exists there is protective equipment that can be worn on the forearm near the elbow to help with support and help reduce strain on the tendons in the elbow. If pain continues to persist after 2 or 3 weeks it is recommended to visit your physician for further treatment.
This blog was written by one of SWOPT's valuable team members, Kevin.