Tennis elbow, also known as tendonitis, is a condition caused by the swelling of the tendons of the elbow. Inflammation of these tendons is often due to overuse of the muscles in the forearm. This injury usually develops gradually and because of repetitive motion—such as the swinging of a tennis racket. Knowing the symptoms of tennis elbow will help you be able to decide when and if to see a doctor.
In the majority of cases, pain begins and slowly gets worse around the outside of the elbow. It is rare for pain to come on suddenly. Pain is worse with movement—it may be noticed when shaking hands or squeezing an object. Pain especially occurs when moving the wrist, such as with opening jars, using a toothbrush, or holding a knife and fork.
Due to inflammation of the tendons and muscles in the elbow, tenderness or a feeling of soreness may be felt on the outer part of the elbow.
Weakness of the forearm is another possible symptom of the condition.
When to See a Doctor
Fortunately, tennis elbow can heal on it’s own in most cases. If you start to experience symptoms and believe you have tennis elbow, try at-home treatments, such as resting, ice, and ibuprofen for pain. If your symptoms do not go away, see a doctor. They may order an MRI to look for excess fluid and swelling in the damaged area in the elbow to confirm a diagnosis of tennis elbow.
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