Tennis Elbow!

Do you play tennis?  Maybe you’re not quite as good as Roger Federer, shown here at the London Olympics, but good players and bad players can all get tennis elbow.  Even if you don’t play tennis at all, you’re not immune from it.  Tennis elbow – otherwise known as lateral epicondylitis – can be caused by playing racquet sports, or one of a million other activities which involve repetitive motions of the elbow and wrist.  You’ll notice a lot of tenderness on the bony bump on the outside of your elbow.  You’ll get pain when trying to lift things with your palm down.  Something as simple as trying to pour a jug of milk can cause some serious pain!  The elbow is one of the areas in the body with a very poor blood supply (the knee is another culprit) and so when an elbow gets injured, it often takes a long time to heal.  Add to that the fact that you will probably continue to use your elbow even though it hurts, and you have a recipe for long-term pain!  With continued use, the inflamed elbow keeps getting re-injured before it gets a chance to heal properly. The actual injury is usually some minor tearing in the tendons of your forearm at the point where they attach to your elbow.  If you look at the photo above, that’s right at the spot where Mr. Federer’s bulging forearm muscles converge into the dimple on his arm.  The usual advice of rest and ice will help – but it can be a slow process.  Often it can be treated successfully with ultrasound, but laser therapy is the best choice.  Laser therapy uses a specific wavelength of light to heal tissue, and works very well for this type of injury.

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