Epicondylitis or Tennis Elbow: Treatment and Prevention

One of the most common and painful ailments at the same time is the so-called epicondylitis, better known as tennis elbow, an ailment that will cause you great pain when you move your elbow.

Epicondylitis consists of an irritation in the tendon found in the flexor muscle of the forearm, which goes from the wrist to the elbow. People who have this ailment have a swollen elbow, feeling great pain when they move or exercise it, especially if they do it hard.

The famous name of tennis elbow comes because it is a very common disease among people who play racket sports. The reason is that in this kind of sports discipline we are constantly using the flexor muscle of the forearm, since it is one of the muscles that is exercised the most when we make the movement of the racket.

This ailment or disease is also known as golfer’s elbow, since in golf we also use this elbow flexion movement a lot, something that can cause irritation in the flexor muscle tendon if it is done with a poor technique or is done during a long time.

Although it has these names, this ailment is not something exclusive to people who practice these sports disciplines. It is also common in other professions where this muscle is used a lot, such as teaching, in which many teachers have tennis elbow because they have to write a lot of content on the board.

The bad thing about this tennis elbow ailment is that it will prevent us from leading a normal life, especially if we are people who like to practice sports. The pain becomes unbearable and we will not be able to act in the way we would like, since by making the slightest effort in this muscle, we will notice pain in the area, something that undoubtedly prevents anyone from performing any discipline. Sporty.

Moreover, I have seen many promising careers in racket sports such as tennis come to an end because of tennis elbow, which, if not treated in time, can permanently disable the muscle, limiting its functions permanently and preventing you from carrying out a normal sporting activity.

Also, even if you are not going to be a sports ace tomorrow, surely you do not like living with pain, since it is something that no one likes without a doubt. For this reason, if you have tennis elbow, your thing is to try to cure this ailment as soon as possible, in order to avoid greater evils and be able to return to having the muscle and tendon in their usual state.

Today we are going to teach you not only how to treat the ailment, but we will also teach you what all its causes are and also how you can prevent its appearance. In this way, you will be able to be safe from this shelter even if it has not yet appeared in your life.

Instructions for Treatment and Prevention

  1. Main causes:
    The first thing we have to know about this disease is what is causing it, in this way, you will be able to know what exactly has caused it and in this way, prevent the appearance of the disease for the next time. In addition, this way you will be able to distinguish a tennis elbow from a simple irritation of the tendon, something that will help you apply the appropriate treatment in each case. As I said before, not only the practice of sports causes this disease, but there are many other causes that are just as dangerous as sports, some causes that even on many occasions, are more common causes of the disease than tennis and tennis. Golf together.

    1. Prolonged sports practice:
      This is the best known of all, since it gives the name to this ailment, which is known as the most common way of calling it tennis elbow. As the name indicates, it is mainly caused by racket sports, since in these sports the flexor muscle from the forearm to the elbow is used a lot, causing it to become irritated if we practice sports for a long time. It also occurs in other sports where we hold something and the grip is put into play, such as golf, hockey or even basketball.
    2. Bad ergonomics:
      In addition to exercise, it could happen that one of the causes is poor ergonomics at work. We define ergonomics as a series of healthy habits to maintain correct psychomotor health in your workplace. In jobs such as computing, teaching, and jobs where we have to hold objects, such as factory work, bartender work, or weight-bearing jobs, poor ergonomics could lead to tennis elbow. For example, if we take a bad posture when writing, even the editors could force this muscle too much and get tennis elbow (god forbid).
    3. Not stretching and not warming up:
      Another cause is that we do not stretch after exercising and we do not warm up before exercising, something that aggravates this situation. Warming up prepares the muscle to exercise and makes it better able to resist its intensity, which is essential in racket sports such as tennis. On the other hand, stretching after exercise relaxes the muscle and makes the blood flow faster, with the consequence that the muscle will repair itself faster. If you do not stretch or warm up in sports where you hold something, tennis elbow can appear, since the muscle is not prepared to withstand such stress at once.
    4. Lack of muscle mass:
      Surely you have wondered why bricklayers, who take more weight and work more on the forearm than tennis players, do not have this ailment. The reason is the muscle mass of the forearm. When we take a lot of weight, the muscle becomes stronger and more resistant to attacks; therefore, it will be much more complicated for these types of ailments to occur. On the other hand, when the exercise is of low intensity and very prolonged, the tendon wears out, but there is no increase in muscle mass, therefore, tennis elbow appears on the scene.
    5. Repetitive movements for a long time:
      Finally we have any type of repetitive movement in the muscle from the forearm to the elbow for a long time, which does not necessarily have to be playing tennis. For example, people who use the forearm a lot for anything can have tennis elbow ailment just like a tennis player who practices a lot. As we have already said, it can appear at work, but it can also appear in any leisure activity that you do. For example, if you work a lot in your garden and pick up an object, something like this could happen to you very easily.
  2. Treatment:
    1. Rest:
      When the disease has just appeared, usually by stopping playing sports or taking a sick leave for a few days, it will be enough for the ailment to pass and return to normal. However, depending on the severity of it, it will take more or less healing time to be able to cure it completely.
    2. Elbow pads:
      If you are going to play sports, you should wear elbow pads, which shorten the range of movement of the racket, which will cause the muscle to suffer less and can heal from tennis elbow more easily. Try to make the elbow brace ergonomic and be an elbow brace prepared to treat tennis elbow.
    3. Physiotherapist:
      You also have to go to a physiotherapist for treatment, who will be in charge of giving you the respective elbow massages to alleviate the symptoms of the disease. It will also get more blood into the muscle, causing the data to be repaired sooner.
    4. Paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen and other medications:
      This class of medicines can help you if the pain is unbearable, relieving the pain for a while and being able to lead a normal life. Of course, keep in mind that this relieves pain, but by itself it does not cure tennis elbow.
    5. Corticosteroids:
      In severe cases, taking infiltrated corticosteroids in the area could help you heal and relieve pain; however, this is only recommended when the disease is already in a fairly advanced state, since corticosteroids are not very good for the health we say.
    6. Ergonomics:
      If tennis elbow has gotten to you at work, try modifying the postures with which you use this forearm muscle. For example, change the way you hold the broom, try to write with your hands in the correct position, and try not to put all the stress on this muscle.
    7. Strengthen elbow extensor:
      If you strengthen this muscle, not only will you make it more resistant, but the muscle will be able to hold the tendon, making the pain completely hidden. Perform exercises such as deadlifts in the gym to strengthen it, accompanied by isolation exercises for the forearm.
    8. Surgery:
      In very serious cases, surgery can be a good solution, which will try to repair the damage to the tendon suddenly and leave it again as it was. Of course, this is the solution that we want to avoid and it should only be done when the muscle is already in very bad condition.
  3. Disease prevention:
    1. Use elbow pads:
      If you wear elbow pads, you will keep the elbow much more subject, something that will help improve its protection. By not having the elbow in the air, we are going to see how it wears out less, thus preventing the disease.
    2. Stretching:
      If we stretch after exercising, we will ensure that the muscle has a good recovery and that the tendon can recover more precisely. You have to do stretches that involve the elbow extensor area, the muscle that is affected by tennis elbow.
    3. Warm up before the exercises:
      If you are going to play sports in conditions, try to warm up the muscle that is involved before training. We are going to do this in order to be prepared to perform the exercise in the correct way, since a muscle that has been well warmed up is more likely to resist well in the face of an ailment or illness.
    4. Strengthen muscles in the forearm:
      The forearm is a muscle that needs to be strengthened in order to function properly in sports practices and thus prevent tennis elbow. Fortunately, we are not going to have to strengthen the elbow by working on the construction site, since doing weight-bearing forearm exercises like the wrist extensor, deadlift, and z-bar biceps curl we can do.
    5. Good technique in movements:
      Finally, try to perform a good technique in racket exercises, holding the racket correctly and making a clean movement, without forcing it too much.

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