Tennis has evolved over the years into a sport that is incredibly physically demanding, political, exciting, and fashion-forward. Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Naomi Osaka, Maria Sharapova: these are just a few strong players who demonstrate unwavering commitment to their sport. Their muscular physiques speak to their training. They are well-trained players, not only to win prestigious competitions, but also to protect them from injuries.
Professional tennis players, along with players of all sports, can take precautionary steps to protect their bodies from suffering from injuries. Tennis elbow is a common injury for tennis players. In short, tennis elbow is swelling of the tendons in the arm. The swelling of a tendon is known as tendinitis.
Excessive gripping of the thumb and first two fingers often causes this injury. Tennis elbow is quite painful, especially in the bony knob on the outside of the elbow. The tenderness and pain can extend up and down the arm depending on the severity of the injury. Although the injury is in the elbow, it often feels tender as a result of using your hands.
You can treat the area to reduce swelling by icing, using an elbow strap, and engaging in specific exercise to stretch and strengthen the surrounding muscles. Although tendons heal slowly, doing movements such as wrist extension exercises can speed the recovery for this injury. On that note, resting the arm can also be healing for tendinitis. Once the tennis elbow has healed, which can take anywhere from a few months up to a year, there are exercises that can help to prevent this injury from reoccurring. For example, squeezing a ball to strengthen your hand and doing bicep and triceps stretches can reduce the stiffness in the elbow tendon and improve agility.
Unfortunately, everyone is prone to tennis elbow, not just the record-setting tennis professionals. If you are suffering from tennis elbow and would like to consult with a fellowship trained sports medicine physician, please call our office at (248) 669-2000. To learn more about tennis elbow and other common orthopedic conditions, check out our patient education center here.