Tennis elbow is a condition that usually develops due to overuse of the elbow, as the tendons – which connect the bones to other bones in the elbow joint – become inflamed. This results in pain in the elbow that can also radiate through the arm.
It gets its name because it is a common injury in tennis players and those who regularly participate in racquet sports, but it is also common among those whose professions involve heavy use of the elbow such as painters and plumbers.
Depending on the severity of the condition, there are different options for treating tennis elbow, and most cases respond to nonsurgical treatments. Let’s talk about some of the most popular treatment methods and who can help you find relief from your tennis elbow condition.
Treating Tennis Elbow
Most cases of tennis elbow are mild, so they tend to respond well to nonsurgical treatments including the following:
- Resting the arm
- Regularly applying ice to the elbow (to reduce pain and inflammation)
- Taking medication to relieve pain and swelling
- Wearing a forearm band to protect the injured tendon and prevent further injury
- Activity moderation
- Physical therapy
Physical Therapy for Tennis Elbow
Physical therapy can be an effective treatment option to help relieve pain, reduce stiffness, and promote healing of the injured tendon. Your physical therapist (PT) can teach you specific exercises that will help to increase your strength, endurance, coordination, range of motion, flexibility, and functional use of your arm in a safe way to reduce the chance of further elbow injury.
Your physical therapist may provide you with a wrist splint or a forearm band to help protect the injured area and to aid in healing. The PT will use a variety of modalities to increase blood flow and ease pain, such as heat, ice, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and massage.
Your physical therapist can also work with you to prevent future problems, such as by improving your posture and technique when performing the motion which caused the tennis elbow in the first place. The PT can teach you special warm-up exercises to help prevent future strains and injuries.
Tennis Elbow Surgery
In severe cases of tennis elbow that do not respond successfully to nonsurgical treatments, surgery may be recommended by your doctor. It is usually only recommended if significant pain or disability continues after a few months of conservative treatment.
The surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, and the elbow is placed in a small splint following surgery.
Experienced Doctors in Sarasota and Manatee County
If you have intermittent or constant pain in your elbow, talk to the experts at Intercoastal Medical Group. We have experienced orthopedic physicians at locations in Sarasota at our Beneva Professional Center office, 943 S. Beneva Road, Sarasota, FL 34232 (941) 955-6748 and at our Lakewood Ranch I Medical Office Building, Bradenton, FL 34211 (941) 362-8662. Intercoastal Medical Group physical therapists provide services (with physician prescription) at the Bebeva Professional Center office building, Lakewood Ranch I and now at our Palmer Ranch II location, 8592 Potter Park Drive, Sarasota, FL 34238. Our physical therapy team is committed to facilitating your optimal function and well-being.
If you would like to find out more about our comprehensive medical services or to schedule an appointment, contact us today at one of our convenient locations or fill out our online form. We look forward to seeing you here!