Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a very painful condition affecting the elbow. It is an overuse injury that is usually the result of repetitive motions. The condition develops when the tendons in the forearm that allow for backward bending of the wrist becoming swollen. Lifting or bending the arm, twisting or extending the forearm, and gripping motions can cause severe pain with this condition. Tenderness may be felt starting from the elbow radiating to the forearm, and in some cases, reaching the wrist.
If you have this condition, you need to let your arm rest. It’s classified as an overuse injury due to repetitive motions, which means continuing with the activity that caused it can lead to a worsening of the injury. Tennis elbow needs to be evaluated by a doctor to rule out other conditions that it shares symptoms with.
What Happens To an Untreated Tennis Elbow?
What can you expect from a tennis elbow injury that is left untreated? It is fair to say you shouldn’t expect long-term relief from pain and other symptoms. In fact, symptoms may actually worsen. Tennis elbow can turn into a chronic problem if not treated by a professional. Oftentimes, people who develop tennis elbow may not see a doctor and attribute it to just getting older. They may rest, take pain-relievers, and get back in the game without proper rehabilitation. This is a mistake. Tennis elbow may respond to conservative treatment provided it’s given by an orthopedic doctor. Not getting your elbow the proper treatment it needs could lead to you needing surgery in the future.
Tennis elbow is almost always caused by an underlying issue, which you can only find out after a comprehensive evaluation that includes imaging tests. At best, the medication you take in an attempt to self-treat will only mask the pain and neglect to address the root cause of your injury. No topical cream exists to cure a tennis elbow injury.
If you are experiencing symptoms of tennis elbow, ask your primary care doctor to refer you to an orthopedic specialist. Underlying causes of overuse injuries are usually poor form or biomechanics, lack of conditioning, or training errors, which an orthopedic doctor can also correct. Treatment of a tennis elbow injury usually includes physical therapy. The sooner you have your tennis elbow diagnosed by an orthopedic doctor, the closer you will be to completing rehabilitation from your injury and getting back to your game.
Tennis Elbow Treatment in Sarasota, FL
For the expert treatment of your tennis elbow injury, look no further than the orthopedic specialists at Intercoastal Medical Group. We treat all types of orthopedic injuries in our Beneva Professional Center in Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch I office in Bradenton. Should you require tennis elbow surgery, trust that our surgeons are skilled and experienced in performing the procedure. We also provide physical therapy services to all patients needing rehabilitation. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor, call our Sarasota clinic at (941) 955-6748 or our Bradenton clinic at (941) 362-8662. You can also request an appointment online.