Tennis elbow most often develops in the dominant arm of the individual. If an individual is right-handed, he/she is more likely to end up with this condition in the right elbow than the left. The reverse is also true if an individual is left-handed. Just remember though that tennis elbow can still affect both elbows at the same time, but it is uncommon.
Development of tennis elbow
Tennis elbow develops when an individual engages in repeated muscle contractions within the forearm muscles due to straightening, twisting or elevation of the wrist. Any of these movements can strain on the tendons of the forearm, eventually resulting to inflammation and even tears inside the connective fiber close to the exterior area of the elbow.
Most cases of tennis elbow occur among individuals who do not play tennis. In reality, the condition most often occurs in the dominant arm of individuals in certain professions such as plumbers, carpenters, painters, butchers and chefs.
Some professions involve the repetitive use of both hands that can lead to the development of tennis elbow in the dominant and non-dominant elbow. It is also possible for athletes who utilize both arms such as in basketball or baseball to end up with the condition in both elbows.
What are the symptoms?
If the individual develops tennis elbow, he/she is likely to experience pain throughout the exterior part of the affected elbow. The pain oftentimes occurs along with weakness in the wrist, forearm and hand of the dominant arm. The pain can also worsen and spread to the rear of the hand when the individual holds an object or twists the wrist.
With the help of self-care measures, it can help improve tennis elbow. It is vital to rest the affected arm to reduce the inflammation and associated pain, particularly when the individual avoids activities that triggered the overuse injury. There is also improvement if the affected forearm and elbow is wrapped and applied ice throughout the day. In addition, there is also evident reduction of pain by keeping the elbow in a raised position higher than the level of the heart.
In case self-care measures are not effective, the individual must consult a doctor to help strengthen the affected area as well as modify any movement in order to avoid stress on the arm muscles and joints. In addition, there might be a need to use a strap or brace to reduce any strain on the forearm.
Recommendations to bear in mind
If the individual experiences pain in both elbows, a doctor should be consulted. This might not be tennis elbow at all. There is a possibility that it might be golfer’s elbow. Just like with tennis elbow, constant contractions of the muscles in the forearm can result to pain inside the elbow, but it is considered isolated to the interior of the joint. Activities such as lifting weights, typing as well as chopping wood, golfing and raking are known to contribute to the condition especially when pain affects both elbows.