You have probably heard people say they are suffering from tennis elbow, and you’re wondering what that means.
For starters, the term “tennis elbow” is a forearm injury caused by repetitive motions. But it doesn’t just affect tennis players; it affects non-athletes, too!
In fact, anyone who performs activities involving repetitive forearm movements can suffer from it. Tennis elbow is common across a range of activities such as: gardening, crafting, typing, writing by hand, and so on.
Tennis elbow can also be caused by increased training intensity, bad technique, sudden change in the weather, and even overuse.
The most common symptom of tennis elbow is pain in the forearm, which occurs when performing even the slightest motions with the affected arm. It varies in intensity according to the extent of the injury, though. In some cases, it may even radiate to other parts of the body.
Tennis elbow doesn’t usually last very long and it typically heals on its own within a year. However, if you suspect you’re suffering from a tennis elbow that’s not improving at all, seek the advice of a medical practitioner.
What Happens to Tennis Elbow if it Doesn't Heal?
Tennis elbow is common, especially with age groups above 40.
If left untreated, surgical intervention may be necessary in order to remove and repair the damaged sections of the affected tendons.
However, most of the time, tennis elbow heals on its own. Healing may take anywhere from six months to a year.
During recovery, the affected forearm muscles may have a diminished range of motion. That’s why it’s advisable to treat it with extra care. Resting the arm and avoiding the aggravating activities will help speed up the healing process.
If you have any doubts about whether or not your elbow is injured, seek the help of a medical professional.
7 Easy Ways to Prevent Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow can be debilitating. Besides, it's never fun when you're sidelined from your favorite sport because of an injury. However, there are some things that you can do to prevent getting tennis elbow in the future!
Read on to find out more.
1. Be careful when doing repetitive tasks.
As mentioned earlier, tennis elbow is often caused by repetitive tasks involving the elbow’s muscles. That's why it’s important to pay attention to your arms when doing repetitive actions.
If you begin to feel discomfort when performing a specific motion, stop and give your arm a rest. If you find that you're starting to hurt more than usual, don't ignore the warning signs. Seek the advice of a medical specialist.
2. Use the correct technique for your strokes.
The most common mistake people make is that they assume that the arm (or any body part) can withstand whatever form when doing tasks. But that's not all true.
Our muscular strength decreases as we age. That’s why it’s never a good idea to rely entirely on force when doing physical tasks; the correct form and proper technique should accompany it.
For example, there are a few ways you could lift a 20-kg box with your bare hands. What is the best way you could lift it without straining your muscles too much?
Remember this: the proper form will allow you to work at your best without unnecessarily straining your body.
3. Strengthen your muscles around the elbow.
Although this seems like an obvious solution, many people still don't realize that strengthening their elbow muscles can help prevent future injuries.
You don’t have to do much, though. All you need to do is allot a few minutes each day to exercise your forearm.
4. Take breaks.
One of the simplest and easiest ways to prevent tennis elbow is to take it easy and take breaks as often as possible. That way, you can give your muscles more time to rest and recover.
5. Stay hydrated.
Our bodies are mostly made of water. That’s why it’s essential to drink enough water throughout the day -- no matter what type of job you do.
Because here’s the thing: if you're dehydrated, your body will have little water to work with. As a result, it may negatively affect your recovery, especially if you’re recovering from a muscular injury such as a tennis elbow.
So, make sure that you drink enough water throughout the day.
6. Use the right gear and accessories when playing sports.
Tennis elbow can be very painful, but wearing a few accessories can help ease the pain and keep the injury from getting worse.
If you want to avoid tennis elbow, then you should always make sure that you're using the correct equipment, gear, and accessories when playing sports or doing repetitive tasks.
Using the right accessories will ease the pain around your forearm and help in your recovery.
Wearing a compression sleeve for tennis elbow is known to help with preventing and easing tennis elbow. The elasticity of the band helps to distribute the tension and decrease the pain.
A tennis elbow band or strap is also an excellent choice for easing tennis elbow pain. KL tape for tennis elbow is also a great option.
7. Take the time to do proper stretching.
To prevent injuries, such as tennis elbow, you need to ensure that your muscles are flexible enough to perform specific tasks. That’s why stretching before doing anything is extremely important.
Stretching not only relaxes your muscles but also prepares your body for the possible muscular stresses and strains that come with the tasks.
So, go ahead, allot a few minutes each day to give your body the stretching it needs.
If you follow these seven tips, then you can help prevent tennis elbow from hurting you again. After all, tennis elbow is no fun!
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