What’s causing that tennis elbow?
In golfer’s elbow or Medial Epicondylitis, the pain is near the inside of the elbowUpdated: Nov 04, 2018, 01:48 IST
Mike’s a well-known painter. He has exhibited his works all over the world and has a long list of clients who want him to paint something special for them. He is so busy that he barely has time to eat or drink. One morning, after working on his new painting for 10 hours straight and getting barely two hours of sleep, Mike woke up with a dull ache near his right elbow. The pain increased so much that he could not hold his paint brush. His doctor told him he had a ‘tennis elbow’. But Mike has never played any tennis or any other sport for that matter, so how could he get ‘tennis elbow’?
What’s causing that ache?
Tennis elbow is a layman’s term for pain in the outside or lateral part of the elbow. The tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the elbows get enflamed from the Repetitive Stress of griping something. In Mike’s case it was his paint brush, it can easily be a tennis or squash racquet or even a carpenter using a screwdriver. The medical term is Lateral Epicondylitis.
A similar type of repetitive stress injury to the elbow is known as the Golfer’s elbow and despite the name, is not limited to golfers. In golfer’s elbow or Medial Epicondylitis, the pain is near the inside of the elbow. (insert image of inside elbow pain)
Lateral and Medial Epicondylitis generally affects people between their 40s and 60s and can lead to severe pain and discomfort. Mostly, it is caused by overuse of the muscles around the elbow.
Finding the cure – ice, stretch and strengthen
•Enflamed tendons respond well to icing. Ice the affected area up to 15 minutes, four to five times in a day.
•Stretch – sit in a comfortable chair, hold your arm straight in front of you, with the palm up towards the ceiling. With the other hand grab the palm and pull towards you. Hold for 30 seconds.
•Do these stretches thrice a day.
•Massage – if possible find a sports massage therapist and get a deep tissue massage.
•Strengthen – once the pain settles, strengthen the forearm muscles. Tendon injuries respond best to eccentric training i.e. lowering of weight. Exercises to be done - Wrist Curls and Reverse Wrist Curls.
•Wrist curls are done like this – sit comfortably, hold a light weight in your hand, place your forearm in your lap, palm facing up. Lower your hand towards the floor without moving your arm. Use your other hand to bring the weight holding hand up. That’s one repetition. Do three sets of 15 repetitions two to three times a week.
•For reverse wrist curls - sit comfortably, hold a light weight in your hand, place your forearm in your lap, palm facing down. Lower your hand towards the floor without moving your arm. Use your other hand to bring the weight holding hand up. That’s one repetition. Do three sets of 15 repetitions two to three times a week.
The common solution to all these issues is to avoid pattern overload. Change your routine and remain healthy.
(A strength and conditioning coach for the last 15 years, Kamal Singh, CSCS, specialises in post rehabilitation training and functional training)
From HT Brunch, November 4, 2018
Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch
Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch