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Lateral Epicondylitis: What to Know About Tennis Elbow

Lateral Epicondylitis is the medical term for Tennis Elbow. It is an injury that involves a repetitive strain that leads to inflammation and tightness of a certain muscle and tendon, specifically the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle and tendon.

How Badly Does Tennis Elbow Hurt?

Tennis Elbow pain can range from a rather dull ache all the way to a very sharp pain. It's generally found outside the elbow, just below the bone where the tendon is attached. Luckily, it's possible to cure the condition through treatment. 

The dull ache usually dominates when the arm is at rest. However, once you use the hand from the affected arm, the pain gets very sharp quite quickly. During flare-ups and recovery cycles, the pain comes and goes. 

Flare-ups can happen when a person with a Tennis Elbow lifts a heavy object or even through something simple like using a mouse for computer activities. It's more common when using the dominant side, but having the condition in both arms is not entirely unusual. Tingling fingers and pain in the neck and shoulders have also occurred alongside it.

What Are the Symptoms of Tennis Elbow?

In a nutshell, Tennis Elbow manifests through symptoms like pain and inflammation. The latter will likely make the hurt more evident in the evenings. Playing video games and using one's phone can also trigger the condition. It's common for people whose jobs require repetitive hand movements like guitar players, builders, and even coffee shop baristas. 

Working with a physical therapist is crucial for both management and recovery from the symptoms. It can take anywhere from four up to six weeks long. The process will include ruling out Radial Tunnel Syndrome, as it tends to present a lot as Tennis Elbow does. A differential diagnosis will do the trick.

How Can You Treat a Tennis Elbow?

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to go about treating Tennis Elbow. When a medical doctor manages to identify a person’s injury for what it is, they won't provide relief. Instead, this is where physical therapy comes in, especially to prevent Tennis Elbow from becoming chronic. Medical doctors conduct tests such as analysis through finger pain and perform other means of examination to make a proper diagnosis.

There are braces for a Tennis Elbow, which are ideal for faster recovery. Aside from splinting, braces help patients get better from acute inflammations. Other options include wearing compression sleeves and straps.

Massage therapy plays a huge role in Tennis Elbow treatment as well. Massages focused on a trigger point are ideal. It should not be too hard, however, and must be adjusted as needed. A patient can look forward to obtaining relief in the form of an exercise massage gun.

Conclusion

A Tennis Elbow is a rather severe condition that involves the inflammation of particular muscles and tendons. Symptoms include pain and inflammation, and it's often accompanied by a cycle of flare-ups and recovery. Treatment is best done through physical therapy, braces, and even via massage therapy from home.

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