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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What Is the Best Tennis Elbow Treatment?

Let's look at the different tennis elbow treatments. Tennis elbow or medically known as Lateral Epicondylitis, is the most common reason why patients seek medical care for elbow pain. It is believed to be caused by small tears or damage on the tendons of the forearm muscles. It is also believed to be a degenerative condition that comes with aging and which also results from too much use of the forearm muscles, like striking a tennis ball.

While there are many different theories regarding tennis elbow, its precise etiology, or root cause, is not yet determined. That is why there is no specific drug to permanently cure this ailment. However, several treatment options have been medically adopted to manage its symptoms. Usually, tennis elbow treatment starts with simpler and more conservative measures then move on to more complex procedures.

1. Lifestyle Change

Since tennis elbow is most common among manual laborers and sports athletes, then it is believed that modification of lifestyle is a key in preventing its recurrence. If a person's right hand is his dominant hand, he can switch to using his left hand more when doing work. For athletes, especially tennis players, using properly sized racquets is recommended. Passive exercise to improve blood circulation is also advised.

2. Anti-inflammatory Drugs and Steroids

Medications with anti-inflammatory action are given to patients to control pain and inflammation. For a lot of patients, elbow pain responds well to anti inflammatory drugs. Also it is more convenient and can easily be taken orally. Cortisone or Steroid injections are given if changing lifestyle and taking anti-inflammatory drugs are insufficient to improve this condition. It is a powerful drug that inhibits inflammatory process.

3. Elbow Brace

An Elbow Brace is a device worn on the forearm directly beneath the elbow. This works by redirecting the pull of the irritated muscles, and transferring the pressure directly under the brace, instead of the pressure being exerted on the worn out tendons.

4. Surgery

Removing a section of the damaged tendon, or releasing its attachment, are among several surgical interventions for Tennis Elbow that have been done successfully. This is done when all other methods have been tried but with little or no positive outcome. However, the need for surgery is usually not common, as most patients improve without difficulty while using the more conventional types of treatment.

5. Shock Wave treatment

A new type of treatment, the OssaTron, works by breaking up scar tissue and dead cells that have accumulated around the elbow joints. This is done by sending shock waves to the affected area. It is non invasive, and an alternative to surgery.

Since elbow pain is the classic symptom of tennis elbow, then management and reduction of pain is the ultimate purpose or goal when devising a treatment plan for the patient. Since each patient is different, and each having different needs, then treatment is also selective for each patient and may therefore vary.

Last but certainly not least, the best tennis elbow treatment might very well be the one that actually focuses on the cause of the problem, and uses different exercises you can do at home without too much difficulty in order to not only take away the pain, but also prevent tennis elbow pain from reoccurring.

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