Despite its name, tennis elbow can arise from many activities other than tennis. In fact, tennis elbow may be an occupational health problem. It’s not unusual for an orthopedist to diagnose tennis elbow in plumbers, butchers, carpenters, and painters. If you’ve been experiencing persistent elbow pain, consider going to an orthopedist for an evaluation.
Onset of Symptoms
Since tennis elbow is an overuse injury, the symptoms usually develop gradually. The symptoms may be minor and easy to ignore at first, yet they later tend to grow worse, particularly if left untreated. The symptoms of tennis elbow develop because of repetitive twisting motions of the forearm or wrist. Repetitive twisting motions result in the inflammation of the lateral—or outside—part of the arm close to the elbow. Some patients with tennis elbow may have a partial tear of the tendon fibers.
Types of Symptoms
The most noticeable symptom of tennis elbow is pain of the elbow area. It may begin at the outside of the elbow and radiate down the forearm to the back of the hand, especially when the patient engages in grasping or twisting movements. Some patients describe the pain of tennis elbow as feeling like a burning sensation. Weak grip strength is common and may be particularly noticeable when trying to perform simple tasks like turning a doorknob, holding a cup of coffee, or shaking someone’s hand.
Complications of Tennis Elbow
If left untreated by an orthopedic specialist, the pain of tennis elbow may continue to worsen over time. Eventually, over-the-counter medications may not sufficiently manage the chronic pain. Other possible complications include a recurrence of the injury because of overuse of the arm and rupture of the tendon due to the excessive use of steroid injections.
Tennis elbow is just one of the many conditions that an orthopedic specialist can treat. At Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine, we treat all types of musculoskeletal problems, ranging from sports injuries to osteoarthritis. If you’re experiencing the symptoms of a sports injury and you live near Queens, give us a call today at (718) 897-2228 and get started on the road to recovery.