Tennis Elbow is one of the most common athletic injuries in sports today. It can often be confused with golf elbow, but they are different injuries. Tennis Elbow is when you have pain on the outside of the elbow, whereas the other injury is a pain on the inside of the elbow. If you are methodical in your approach, there are simple changes you can make to help prevent this injury.
Sports Susceptible to Tennis Elbow
The sports that get this injury tend to be racquet sports. The injury is the result of having to help and swing a racquet most of the time. Though you can get tennis elbow from other sports, it is just not as common.
Tennis elbow develops over time and is usually sustained by people over the age of 40. The injury derives from repetitive gripping between thumbs, and the index finger. The injury strains the tendons and the muscles from the repetitive swinging motion or gripping other things.
It is important to note that Tennis Elbow is an overuse injury. Meaning that it can be prevented by managing volume of swings, especially ones with poor technique. Anytime you are swinging a racquet with less than ideal technique; you are exposing yourself to a tennis elbow injury.
There could be different muscles in your arms that are not activating as they should. What this does is put more strain on other tendons, muscles, and structures that should not be there. When you then repeat motions over and over again, all a sudden you start feeling pain.
The worst thing about overuse injuries is that they only get worst unless you do something about it. A lot of athletes hope that they can get a good nights rest and wake up, and their injury will be all better, but that is rarely the case. As long as you keep swinging that racquet as much as you do, you will hurt.
- Pain lifting things
- Making a fist
- Gripping objects
- Opening doors
- Shaking hands
- Tenderness on the bony knob on the inside of the elbow
The best way to diagnose tennis elbow is to get with a healthcare provider. You want to make sure that you are seeing professionals familiar with sports injuries who know how to get you back on the court. Any healthcare provider can get your elbow to feel better, but not all can create a plan of action to make sure that it does not come back again.
When treating tennis elbow, it is essential that you remember that your training volume is one of the most important factors. If you have a bunch of tournaments coming up that you feel you must play, your best route is to get treatment from a professional. If you have a bit of time where you can rest and give the tendon a break, then you can rely on slower healing and rehab period.
The second important thing to take note of when treating tennis elbow is that you want to make sure that you want to do more of what feels right. Try out different treatment options listed below and see what makes the most significant impact and then double down on that.
- Elbow Strap
- Active Release Technique – health care providers that know this technique will do manual manipulation of the surrounding soft tissue
- Graston – Breaks down any knots that have developed around the elbow
- Daily Stretching – Keep your forearms loose
- Full physical therapy rehab – Use 9INE POINT to find your PT
- Surgery is the last case scenario when you are an athlete, but sometimes it is the only way.
The key to prevention is making it a part of your daily routine. You want to make preventing tennis elbow something you spend 5-10 minutes working on daily. What this does is build habits of prevention so that you don’t have to worry about suffering significant injuries from not taking care of yourself.
One of the easiest ways to prevent these types of overuse injuries is to listen to your body. At the first sign of an elbow or forearm discomfort, go and see a healthcare provider. A simple 30-minute massage could be the difference between feeling tremendous or missing months from tennis elbow.
- Stop at the first sign of discomfort and pain
- See a 9INE POINT therapist as early as possible
- Ice elbow after exercise
- Daily stretching and strengthening
Daily Exercises to Prevent Tennis Elbow
Tennis Ball Squeeze
- Squeeze and hold it for 5 seconds
- Repeat this between 10 -20 times
- Do this for three sets
- Find harder balls to make this more challenging over time
- Let wrist hang off the edge of the bench with the dumbbell in hand
- Curl wrist, so that palm of hand goes from facing away to facing towards you
- To make the movement easier make sure you massage the form arms before and after
- Increase the weight of dumbbell to make the exercise harder
What If You Need Help For Tennis Elbow Rehab?
Sometimes you can ice all you want, but a muscle is in pain because another area is not working or because it is protecting you. With the hips, for example, your back may be hurting because your psoas is doing too much work and it is also tight. The psoas may be doing too much work because your other hip flexors are not activating correctly. The chain reaction could keep going.
Sometimes you need the help of a sports medicine provider. Sports medicine providers are used to working with athletes that need to get results quickly, to get back on the field. If you are not an athlete, I am sure that you still want quick results.
There are many different options you can go with when looking for a provider. You could get a chiropractor, massage therapist, physical therapist or many other options. The key is finding someone you trust and that you are excited to work with.
How to Find The Best Healthcare Providers for Tennis Elbow
9INE POINT Health is the best place to find the health care providers you need for any injuries. It does not matter where you are hurting; a 9INE POINT Health provider will be able to get you healthy again. 9INE POINT allows you to find the best local providers and compare them quickly using the 9INE POINT GAP Number.
If you have no idea what you need, but you know you need something, 9INE POINT Health is an injury guide, and you will get helped through the process. We make it easier for you to find the information and the person you are looking for to help with your tennis elbow.
Skills to Look for in a Healthcare Provider for Tennis Elbow:
- Active Release Technique
- Graston Technique
- Fascial Stretch Therapy
- Corrective exercises
- Dry Needling
- Sports Background
- Functional Movement Screen
- And more
9INE POINT Health was created by 9INE POINT in '19 as a means to provide athlete-driven resources to "Protect Athletes' Minds, Body and Belly". As well as be a platform for healthcare providers and other specialists to display their knowledge.