What is it?
If you have pain on the outside of your elbow, you may have tennis elbow.
Tennis elbow is caused by repeated use of the muscles around the elbow.
If you stop doing whatever has caused the injury, tennis elbow usually gets better without treatment, but recovery can be slow, taking anything from a few months to two years.
What are the symptoms?
Tennis elbow can cause the outside of your elbow and your upper forearm to feel sore and tender to touch.
Other symptoms can include swelling of the area, and weakness or stiffness in your forearm. It may hurt to do certain movements, like shake hands or turn a doorknob.
- Rest from activities that seem to cause the pain is very essential.
- Ice applications, commercial cold packs, or frozen peas can be used to reduce the inflammation. Time limit should be 10-15 minutes of application every hour for severe cases, 3 times per day for mild cases.
- Stretch your arm before, during, and after performing any repetitive arm activities.
- Few short breaks help in faster and better healing. If you are working constantly on computers, experiment with chair height, mouse location, and keyboard position to get relief from pain.
- Do not overexert yourself.
- Avoid repetitive activities involving the elbow.
- Don’t sit in a slouched fashion to do your desk work.
- Don’t play games on your computer, laptop, mobile phone or video game while you are in pain. Allow your elbow to rest.
Things to watch out for
Tennis elbow can be treated by taking painkillers, such as paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, to help reduce inflammation. GP should be contacted if the pain in the elbow persists, despite resting it for a few days.