Injury Prevention by Mike Carlson - Men's Fitness
Author/s: Mike Carlson
ONLY ABOUT 5 percent of all tennis-elbow cases--the inflammation of
the outer part of the elbow--involve tennis players. TE can just as
easily occur as a result of weightlifting or using your mouse or keyboard.
"It usually is related to a repetitive overuse with your hand and
wrist," says Nicholas A. DiNubile, M.D., a member of the Men's
Fitness Advisory Board and an orthopedic consultant to the Philadelphia
76ers. If the outer portion of your elbow hurts when you grasp a barbell
or dumbbell, you've likely got TE.
You can self-treat tennis elbow by cutting back on the injuring activity
(if you can figure out what that is) for a week or so, icing the elbow
for 15 to 20 minutes three or four times a day, taking an anti-inflammatory
medicine, and massaging and stretching the forearm area. But DiNubile
recommends getting it checked out by an orthopedic surgeon who specializes
in sports medicine and who can check for other problems that mimic tennis
elbow, such as a pinched nerve. The doctor can also recommend physical
therapy and help you figure out what's causing the problem. "The
challenge with tennis elbow is preventing recurrences," DiNubile
says. Acupuncture has helped some sufferers, but surgery should be a
last resort, he adds. While a cortisone shot can be an option, getting
more than three in one year for the same body part can weaken tissue.
Also, be wary of a doctor who immediately treats you with a cortisone
shot without considering preventive measures or the underlying causes.