What are the Symptoms of Tennis Elbow
Tennis Elbow - Symptoms
The onset of tennis elbow pain is normally gradual with tenderness or a dull ache felt in the tendons of your forearm muscles on or below the bony bumps of your elbow.
Pain can also be experienced when your wrist or hand are straightened, when your palms are facing the ceiling, when you flex your wrist and fingers backwards while straightening your elbow, or when you rest your wrists on a tabletop or desk.
Are you noticing pain, discomfort, immobility or restricted motion in your elbow or forearm? Do these symptoms appear before, during, or after you exercise, do daily household duties, or at work? These symptoms could be the first sign that you are suffering from Tennis Elbow.
You may notice swelling, heat or redness, inability to lift or carry objects, inflexibility, deformation, bruising, or pain caused by movement or that persists even through rest. If you have tennis elbow, you will feel pain or discomfort when performing repetitive movements such as grasping, carrying objects (a tray, a baby or books), or twisting with your hands or wrists.
If you do not seek treatment in the form of warming and cooling temperature therapies for your symptoms and you are suffering from Tennis Elbow, you may develop a chronic Tennis Elbow injury due to overuse or even re-injury.
Chronic symptoms can include pain before, after, and during activities that does not go away as well as limited range of motion and inflexibility that will interrupt your daily life. Straightening your wrist or hand, or turning your palms to face the ceiling may cause severe discomfort. Extending and flexing your fingers or lifting everyday objects can trigger Tennis Elbow pain. These symptoms may require you to change, or completely stop, movements using your arm or hand.
In severe cases, turning a screwdriver or even holding a coffee cup can cause intense discomfort. It is easy to forget how much you use your hands and arms on a daily basis. When you are suffering from Tennis Elbow, even the most simple tasks can become quite a challenge!
Imagine having to take weeks or even months off work, or missing a whole season of your favorite sport or activity. The burden that an untreated Tennis Elbow injury can place on your finances, your family, and your quality of life, can be heavy.
Tennis Elbow pain normally starts with tenderness or a dull ache around the bony bumps on the outside of your elbow. These bumps are also known as your lateral epicondyle bone. It is here, that the tendon for the muscle in your forearm, attaches to the bone. If left untreated, the pain may gradually start to radiate, from the outside of your elbow, extending down into your forearm and wrist. Typically tennis elbow starts off as acute, or short lived pain that goes away after about 24 hrs.
Tennis Elbow Pain Scale Acute to Chronic Pain
Onset of symptoms, such as soreness, may not appear immediately after an activity. If you begin to notice discomfort 24-72 hours after doing an activity, it could be an indication that tiny tears have started to form in your tendon. When the body experiences sensations of pain or discomfort, it is trying to tell you that something is wrong. By ignoring your body's warning signs, you could be putting yourself at risk of developing a chronic injury.
Why Is It Important To Treat My Symptoms?
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow are not the same for everyone. You may experience only one symptom or perhaps a combination of symptoms. The severity of these symptoms can differ from person to person.
Sometimes, a person suffering from Bi-lateral Tennis Elbow (that's both elbows at once ) will have different symptoms for each elbow. This is because no two injuries are exactly the same.
You may notice slight discomfort in your elbow, that disappears after a few hours or up to a day later. If you are relying on short periods of rest or use Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) to mask the pain of your injury, you are not giving your body the proper attention it needs to recover.
In fact, by masking your symptoms of pain, immobility, and discomfort, you are blocking out the warning signs your body is using to tell you something is wrong!
By hiding your Tennis Elbow symptoms you are putting yourself at risk for damaging your elbow permanently.
While some symptoms can occur suddenly (as with an accident or acute trauma), Tennis Elbow is most often a case of gradual overuse. If not given proper attention, repetitive stress and re-injury will develop into a Chronic Tennis Elbow Injury.
It is important to remember that pain is not the only indication of a serious injury. The micro tears, scarring, and inflammation which are the underlying causes of Tennis Elbow can occur even if pain is not noticeable or is relieved quickly. Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) are most often caused by this common misunderstanding.
Short term pain relief such as rest, elevation, and medication will not promote long term healing!
Being proactive is the best way to fight Tennis Elbow. Stop the pain and damage before it causes further injury requiring months, or even years of your life spent in recovery. The information you will discover here will help you manage your Tennis Elbow symptoms as soon as possible.
Talk to your physician about using cooling and warming temperature therapies to transform short term pain relief into long term recovery and sustainable results. Cold Therapy and Soft Tissue Repair Therapy (via use of the Elbow T•Shellz Wrap®) will treat symptoms and minimize the damaging effects that daily, work related, or recreational activities can cause to an already injured, elbow.
We have tools that will help you with tennis elbow pain and healing. When it comes to your injured elbow, it's best to start effective long term healing right away. Our Advisers are highly trained individuals and will help find the long term healing goal that's right for YOU. Why wait?
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When Should I Seek Medical Attention?
You should always consult your doctor when you begin to experience recurring pain or symptoms of Tennis Elbow injury. It is essential to speak with a medical professional if you have started, regularly taking, "over the counter" medications to treat your symptoms.
We always recommend that you speak with your physician to confirm the nature and severity of your elbow injury. Continued discomfort in your elbow should be investigated, as it can lead to long term damage. If you experience any of the symptoms below then talk to your physician and see if our conservative treatments are right for you.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should speak with your physician as soon as possible. Common Symptoms of Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) are as follows:
- You cannot hold objects or carry out work activities because of your pain
- You have limited range of motion that makes bending, straightening or even, moving your arm, difficult
- You notice redness, heat, or swelling in your elbow
- Your elbow appears deformed or there is obvious bruising
- You've experienced a traumatic event or accident to your elbow that may have caused a broken bone or tear of tissues
- You experience elbow pain that keeps you awake at night, even while at rest, and lasts more than 24-72 hours
- Any other unusual symptoms of weakness or pain from the shoulder, forearm, wrist, and hand
A proper diagnosis from your physician is the only way to know for sure that you are suffering from Tennis Elbow. A visit to your doctor can rule out any other conditions that may be causing your symptoms such as, injury to the shoulder, arthritis, or bursitis.
Speaking to your physician will help you understand the best course of action to treat your symptoms. Depending on the how much pain you are in and how long you have had symptoms, your physician will most likely recommend a program of conservative treatments which incorporate cooling and heating therapies. Through the use of an Elbow T•Shellz Wrap®, you can greatly reduce your chances of developing long term damage and return to living, pain free, as soon as possible!
How Do I Cure Tennis Elbow -
What You Can Do!
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Speed Up Healing of Your Tennis elbow!
The good news is that most cases of tennis elbow will heal with simple home conservative treatments and surgery is often not needed! It's generally understood by doctors and surgeons, that surgery will introduce more scar tissue into the elbow. This added scar tissue will be problematic, requiring physical therapy and conservative treatment options post-surgery. This is why surgery is only performed as a last resort for chronic elbow injuries or a fractured bone that won't heal with conservative treatment methods.
Some conservative treatment methods recommended include:
- Rest - This is important for initial healing to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation in the early stage of your elbow injury. Too much rest can also be harmful to elbow injuries because joint immobility can actually cause stiffening in the elbow (and even shoulder) joint. This is why rest should be used when reducing initial pain and swelling, but should not be considered for more long-term conservative treatment.
- Avoid Activities that Caused Your Injury - While resting your elbow, it's important to avoid activities that may have caused your injury in the first place and this definitely includes pretty much any type of sport where your upper body is involved. Continuing on with regular activities will not only make your injury worse, but trying to 'work around' your injury will eventually give rise to over-compensation injuries in other areas of your body.
- Use a Cold Compress or Ice Pack - Cold is very effective at reducing pain and inflammation - use at the onset of the injury and during flareups.
- Use Soft Tissue Repair Therapy (STR Therapy) - You can use your own blood flow to maximize your rehabilitation, maintain healthy blood flow to your arm and elbow, decrease recovery time, and boost overall long-term healing. Promoting blood flow to your elbow joint will help to minimize the growth of scar tissue, increase flexibility and helping prevent atrophy.
- Physical Therapy - Surgery is usually the last resort. This means doctors or surgeons typically won't perform a surgery until they feel that their patient has put effort into treating their injury with conservative treatment methods. This includes 4 to 6 months of physical therapy. If you haven't experienced any improvement in your condition during that time then surgery may be considered. Agressive physical therapy approaches will focus on forced or manual manipulation of your elbow joint - this means your physical therapists will be trying to move your elbow past the point of comfort as they strive to increase range of motion and prevent further atrophy. This can be painful and end up making your injury worse if not done correctly. (reference: 1)
- Stretching - Stretching your elbow and arm in physical therapy and at home will help you to regain your range of motion much faster than not stretching at all. Stretching in many ways is key maintaining good Range of Motion (ROM) in the elbow, and stretching can be made much easier with use of a TShellz Wrap before to warm up soft tissue, and a Cold Compress or Ice Pack treatment after to prevent any return of swelling and inflammation.
For acute (new or recent) elbow injuries that have the ability to heal on their own - your doctor may even suggest use of a removable sling. This can be helpful to prepare you for physical therapy sessions and mobility exercises.
However, prolonged use of a sling or long-term rest (restricted movement) without proper exercise or stretching can make your elbow condition worse (and also affect shoulder mobility). If your arm remains completely immobilized and at constant rest, the edges of your soft tissue tear will begin to fill in with scar tissue as part of the healing process. You may also have on-going symptoms of pain, swelling, inflammation, and even poor blood flow circulation.
Use A Soft Tissue Therapy Tennis Elbow T•Shellz Wrap®:
- After swelling and inflammation have been reduced with cold compression.
- Before exercise or workouts to warm up your elbow to prevent re-injury.
- Before and after tennis elbow surgery, during rehabilitation, to warm up your elbow before physical therapy exercising or stretching.
- Anytime you feel your elbow has stiffened up, is tight and your mobility is reduced causing you more pain.
- Anytime you have sore or aching tissue in and around your elbow.
- Any other situation where you need to increase blood flow to your elbow to relax your soft tissue, relieve pain, prevent re-injury and enhance flexibility of your tissue.
Prevention and Promotion of Lifelong Health
If you want to avoid re-injury, or manage pain and increase circulation for lifelong health benefits, an Elbow T•Shellz Wrap® will provide the results you are looking for.
Why spend time in pain, off from work, and missing out on your active lifestyle when you can be proactive about your injury and the health of your body?
Call one of our AidMyTennisElbow Advisers at no cost or obligation to address any lingering questions you have about using heat or cold for your elbow injury - toll free 1-866-237-9608
Learn More About Elbow Injuries & Treatments
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