Article by Rebecapark
Elbows are complex joints, similar to the knees, and their function is to rotate, flex and support the body when required. The elbows can be damaged by excessive pressure, the same continuous action and naturally by the aging process. The most common elbow conditions that cause pain are golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow and bursitis.Tennis elbow symptoms are felt from the outside of the upper forearm just near the bend of the elbow and radiating down towards the wrist. Playing a tennis backhand often results in this kind of elbow injury hence the condition has been commonly named tennis elbow. The sudden impact of the ball on the racket can forcefully bend the wrist forward when the player is gripping the tennis racket handle tightly. This sudden impact can inflict damage on the common extensor tendon. However, there are many other activities that may cause this condition.Other sports and every day activities that overwork or over stretch the forearm muscles such as gardening, hard gripping movements, excessive wrist movements, using tools and heavy lifting can cause tennis elbow pain. The muscles on the back of the forearm, which straighten the fingers and pull the wrist backwards, merge into one tendon on the bony part of the outside of the elbow. This is the common extensor tendon which can be strained by many activities. Tennis elbow is a type of tendonitis that results in pain mostly felt when the patient bends or lifts the arm even when grasping relatively light objects.These strenuous activities can result in small tears in parts of the muscle and tendon. When the first tear has healed, it often tears again and again resulting in the some bleeding of the muscle. Rough tissue and calcium deposits can form and the protein called collagen leaks out from around the injured tissue resulting in inflammation. The increased pressure from the swelling may reduce the blood flow. This swelling may pinch the radial nerve which is one of the main nerves that controls the muscles in the arm and hand.If the tendon has become inflamed any use of the forearm can cause elbow pain. Gripping or lifting objects and straightening the elbow can all result in pain. The tendon will feel tender and sore to touch. In severe cases, the pain is acute and constant resulting in much stress for the patient.The elbow inflammation usually continues for 6 to 12 weeks. However, as tendons receive much less blood and oxygen as muscles they heal more slowly. Sometimes this slow healing process can last for many months or even several years.Patients with early symptoms of tennis elbow need to seek professional medical advice as soon as possible. Even if the patient has had the condition for a long time it can be treated.