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CARE Blogs

Tennis Elbow

20Oct

Tennis Elbow

How can I take care of my tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is a physical condition that occurs when tendons in the forearm get strained. It is usually a result of repetitive motions involving the wrist and arm.

Risk factors that influence the occurrence of tennis elbow

Age – Tennis elbow is not exclusive to any particular age group. That being said, people above the age of 30 are at an increased risk of developing tennis elbow.
Poor form – Improper techniques when playing sports, exercising, or performing day-to-day physical activities, in general, can strain wrist/ forearm muscles.
Medications – Use of certain medications such as fluoroquinolone antibiotics (Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox)
Improper warming up – Muscles and tendons are more prone to wear, tear, and damage when doing exercise without prior stretching and warming up exercises.

Medical care for your tennis elbow

Surgery/ treatment procedures
Ultrasonic tenotomy (TENEX procedure) – In this technique, a special needle is put through the skin and into the damaged portion of the tendon, following which ultrasonic energy reverberates through the needle. This causes the damaged tissue to liquefy so that it can be sucked out.
Injections – Injections that contain the platelet-rich plasma, Botox, or any form of an irritant for prolotherapy are usually injected into the painful tendon to help relieve pain. Additionally, dry needling may be helpful in case the tendon is damaged in multiple places.
Surgery – This is only recommended in case symptoms haven’t subsided or improved over the course of 6-12 months of extensive non-operative treatment. In addition to surgical procedures, rehabilitative exercises are crucial on a regular basis.

Self-case home remedy measures
Avoiding repetitive motions: when performing daily activities that involve the wrist and forearm
Adequate rest: to avoid strenuous activities that can aggravate the tennis elbow and its associated pain and discomfort
Ice pack: to be applied 3-4 times a day in sessions of 15 minutes each
Over the counter medicines: pain-relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or naproxen (Aleve)
Wear a Tennis Elbow brace

Exercises for easing discomfort and pain caused by tennis elbow

Most exercises that provide relief for the tennis elbow usually engage the wrist. The following are some that you can try out to help rehabilitate tennis elbow:
• Wrist turn
• Wrist turn with weights
• Wrist lift, palm up
• Wrist extensor stretch
• Wrist extensor flex
• Elbow bend
• First squeeze
• Towel twist

Eat to heal: important nutrients for tennis elbow

Calcium
It is very important for the growth, maintenance, and repair of bone tissue. Furthermore, it regulates muscle and bone contraction which are essential for the body’s recovery processes. A deficiency of calcium can increase the risk of low bone mineral density.
Foods are rich in calcium: milk, dairy products, green leafy vegetables, paneer.

Iron
It is essential for the rebuilding process in the body. Inadequate levels of iron can result in muscle function impairment and limited work capacity.
Foods are rich in iron: fish, poultry, dry fruit, seafood.

Magnesium
It is required to facilitate the contraction and relaxation of muscles and further helps ease swelling and pain in the muscles. A deficiency of magnesium can lead to prolonged pain and discomfort during tennis elbow.
Foods rich in magnesium: pumpkin seeds, peanuts, cashews, almonds

Omega 3
It is extremely helpful in the inflammatory response towards the tennis elbow by reducing pain and swelling whilst increasing circulation to the site of injury. Consuming adequate levels of omega 3 can ensure that your body has everything it needs to heal your injury.
Foods rich in Omega 3: salmon, mackerel, tuna, plant oils

Zinc
It is irreplaceable for the important functions of tissue regeneration and repair. A lack of zinc significantly hampers wound healing and repair.
Foods rich in zinc: red meat, legumes, fish, poultry.

Vitamin A, B12, and C
These three Vitamins play important roles in regenerative processes for tissues and muscles that help support muscle and ligament recovery. These vitamins should especially be prioritized for tennis elbow given their respective roles in the body.
Foods rich in Vitamin A: eggs, cheese, milk, yogurt.
Foods rich in Vitamin B12: seafood, eggs, chicken, mutton.
Foods rich in Vitamin C: oranges, papaya, guavas.

By

Dr. Manoj Kumar Gudluru
Consultant Orthopaedic & Joint Replacement Surgeon