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Understanding Tennis Elbow: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis

What is tennis elbow?

A: Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition that causes pain and tenderness on the outer side of the elbow due to inflammation of the tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle of the humerus bone in the upper arm.

Q: What causes tennis elbow?

A: Tennis elbow is caused by repetitive use of the forearm muscles and tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle of the humerus bone. This repetitive use can lead to tiny tears in the tendons and inflammation.

Q: Who is at risk of getting tennis elbow?

A: Anyone can develop tennis elbow, but it is more common in people who perform repetitive motions with their forearm muscles, such as athletes, manual laborers, and office workers who use computers for extended periods.

Q: What are the signs and symptoms of tennis elbow?

A: The main symptom of tennis elbow is pain on the outer side of the elbow that worsens with activity involving the affected arm. Other symptoms may include weakness in the affected arm, difficulty gripping objects, and stiffness in the elbow.

Q: How is tennis elbow diagnosed?

A: Tennis elbow is typically diagnosed through a physical exam and medical history. Your doctor may also order imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI, to rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms.

Q: What are the treatment options for tennis elbow?

A: Treatment options for tennis elbow may include rest, ice, physical therapy, and medication. In some cases, surgery may be necessary. It is important to talk to your doctor to determine the best course of treatment for your specific case.

Exercises for tennis elbow
Exercises for tennis elbow by Dr Om Patil

Q: How can I prevent tennis elbow?

A: To prevent tennis elbow, it is important to avoid repetitive motions that strain the forearm muscles and tendons. If you perform activities that require repetitive motions, take breaks often and use proper technique to avoid injury. It is also important to maintain good overall health and fitness.

Q: How long does it take to recover from tennis elbow?

A: The recovery time for tennis elbow can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the treatment plan. In general, it may take several weeks to several months to fully recover from tennis elbow.

Q: Can I still play tennis if I have tennis elbow?

A: If you have tennis elbow, it is important to rest and allow the affected arm to heal. Once you have fully recovered, you can gradually return to playing tennis, but it is important to use proper technique and take breaks often to avoid reinjury. It is also important to consult with your doctor before returning to any physical activity.

Dr Om Patil Is Orthopedic Surgeon in Mumbai practicing at Dadar, Sion, Chembur, Mahim and Khar areas of Mumbai

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