Extensor tendonitis, also known as tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition that affects the tendons on the outside of your elbow. This injury often occurs from repetitive motion or overuse of the forearm muscles and tendons.
In this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about treating extensor tendonitis, including symptoms to look out for, causes of the condition and step-by-step treatments you can do at home.
Symptoms Of Extensor Tendonitis
The most common symptom of extensor tendonitis is pain on the outside of your elbow. The pain may also radiate up your arm towards your wrist. It may become worse when you grip an object or lift something heavy.
Other symptoms include:
- Weakness in your forearm
- Stiffness in your elbow joint
- Numbness or tingling sensation in your fingers
If left untreated, these symptoms can worsen and lead to chronic pain and difficulty performing everyday tasks.
Causes Of Extensor Tendonitis
Repetitive motions such as playing tennis, using a computer mouse for extended periods or even carrying heavy objects can cause tiny tears in the extensor tendons around the elbow joint. These tears then lead to inflammation which results in extensor tendonitis.
Some other factors that contribute to this condition include:
Age: People between 30 and 50 years old are more likely to develop this injury due to their increased activity levels.
Overexertion: Overworking one’s self during activities like running or weightlifting can put excessive stress on all parts involved leading directly into overexertion injuries like those sustained by athletes who use similar muscle groups regularly.
Poor Ergonomics: Using improper techniques while performing physical activities such as typing puts undue strain on specific nerves leading to injury if not corrected early.
Treatment options for extensor tendonitis depend on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, treating at home may be sufficient, while severe cases would require medical intervention.
To reduce inflammation and promote healing in your elbow tendons, you can try these simple home remedies:
Rest: Avoid using your elbow excessively as it could lead to more pain and swelling.
Ice Therapy: Apply ice or a cold compress for 10 – 15 minutes every hour for up to 3 days.
Heat Therapy: After a few days, apply heat to alleviate stiffness by taking warm showers or baths or even using warmed-up towels.
Wrist Extensor exercises: Using elastic therapeutic tape will strengthen these muscles which help out with preventing reoccurrences of this injury
When home remedies do not work, consulting a doctor should become necessary. Here are some potential medical treatments:
- Physiotherapy: specific exercises are focused on strengthening wrist muscles.
- Medication: drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen reduce both pain levels alongside inflammation.
- Corticosteroid injections: This injectable reduces swelling/inflammation in your forearms.
- Surgery is used only when all other forms have failed.
Overall time frames often vary; however physiotherapy sessions typically range from three weeks upwards so one could expect recovery within two months plus physical activity resumption restrictions over stretches back six months until fully healed post-operational stages such that repetitive stress issues associated specifically return removed as possible factors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What causes extensor tendonitis?
A: Repetitive strain caused due to long hours performing activities from tennis playing can eventually result in small cuts leading straight up an inflamed condition referred jointly as extensor tendonitis. Other causative factors include age ranges between ’30-50 years’ as well as overexertion issues and poor ergonomics.
Q2. How is extensor tendonitis diagnosed?
A: Diagnosis usually involves the assessment of medical history coupled with a physical exam procedure that checks for indicators like elbow pain while flexing your fingers, reduced grip strength, in addition to swelling or tenderness along the outside of one’s affected arm. An x-ray, MRI scanor ultrasound test may also be necessary.
Q3. What can you do to prevent extensor tendonitis?
A: Take frequent breaks from any repetitive tasks which put undue pressure on your forearm muscles such typing for long periods. You should also avoid lifting objects too heavy ensures protecting yourself carrying items close to your body’s centre of gravity while standing upright rather than slouching whilst doing so helps prevent this kind of injury out right when proper posture technique applied beforehand.
Extensor tendonitis is a common condition that benefits significantly from early diagnosis being quickly treated; regardless of causes curable damage must make part rehabilitation regime care plan. We recommend seeking medical attention if symptoms persist beyond seven days and are accompanied by unbearable discomfort attached pains at rest or during activity timescales since these could signal something more severe in relation to additional underlying conditions beyond what we have covered within provided guideline today.