Tennis elbow is a term that gets thrown around a lot in the fitness community, but what actually is tennis elbow? All sorts of sports and disciplines can be affected by it, so whether you’re a weight lifter or a keen badminton player, you could still experience it.
As people who are passionate and curious about all things related to fitness and personal training goals, we understand the importance of looking after your body and especially rehabilitation. If you get pain in your elbow and forearm, see how you can identify it, what causes it and how you can prevent it, when training in the future, below.
What Is It?
Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, can range from a small twinge to severe pain around the outside of your elbow. The muscles and tendons here become strained because of your physical activity, which can lead to inflammation or tearing of the tissue.
You can also feel pain from a range of movements, such as gripping things to extending your arm. Twisting motions are often quite painful too and the discomfort can extend from your elbow, down into your forearm as well. If you experience this sort of recurring pain or discomfort, then you probably have tennis elbow.
What Causes It?
Despite the name, there are lots of different sports and activities that can cause it. Because we develop tennis elbow because of twisting motions, particularly using your wrists and forearms in strenuous ways. Racket sports are one of the main culprits, as it is so easy to overuse and overextend your arm.
There are also different aspects to your technique and movements which can make this more likely to develop. Explosive actions, for example, or suddenly stopping and not following through with a movement like serving or returning a shot, can put stress on your muscles and tendons.
How Can You Treat Tennis Elbow?
This condition is defined as ‘self-limiting’ which means that you don’t actually need any specific treatment for it and it will gradually get better over time. As well as committing to rehabilitation and not making your tennis elbow worse, there are still things you can do to speed up your recovery process and help your tendons and muscles to repair.
Compression can be really helpful with easing pain and offering some immediate relief. Get some ice or peas wrapped in some cloth and apply to your elbow, making sure to take it off and reapply, which will calm the inflammation.
Is There a Way to Prevent It?
There are lots of things you can do to prevent getting tennis elbow, but there is no quick and easy way to prevent it, but there are plenty of things to consider that will decrease the likelihood of you getting it.
Warming up properly is a great way to prevent it as doing a good warm-up loosens up your muscles and makes it less likely that injury will occur. Adding some appropriate stretches that target your arms, shoulder and forearms, can also go a long way, too.
More often than not, your technique can be what is causing extra strain on your elbows and forearm muscles, so taking a good look at this can also be key. Spreading the impact of the movement across your whole body and thinking more about how you are moving, as well as how to use your body effectively in your discipline, could make all the difference. It is often jarring movements which can bring on this kind of injury.
Get Help With Your Tennis Elbow Rehabilitation
If you are struggling with tennis elbow and are getting things like tendonitis repeatedly, it could be worth enquiring with a coach or professional, that can take a good look at your technique and see how you could improve.
Not only are coaches and professional trainers knowledgeable about getting fitter and healthier, but they also have a wealth of knowledge and experience. What you want to work on can be tailored to you and if you need to rehabilitate or are in recovery, they can also create a program that can benefit you.
Tennis elbow can be minor or can go on for up to two years, but if you rehabilitate yourself correctly, it can heal quickly, so you can be back on track to achieving your fitness goals in no time.
As well as seeking help and advice from your doctor, you can also ask fitness professionals to help you along the way. More often than not, they have first-hand experience relating to how you can get back on track and keep on track, after having injuries like tennis elbow, where your muscles and ligaments are strained.
For fitness knowledge and training tips, take a look at our other blogs and get inspired to become the best you can be.