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You don’t have to play tennis to suffer from tennis elbow. In fact, tennis elbow is the most common elbow injury that orthopedists see. What is it? How does it occur, and how is it treated?

While a large percentage of tennis players will suffer from tennis elbow at some point in their career, they only make up a small percentage of all reported cases of tennis elbow.Tennis elbow can strike anyone whose job or activity requires a repetitive motion of the wrist, including painting, plumbing, and using a hammer.

Sometimes confused with carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow is characterized by a recurring pain on the outside of the upper forearm, just below the elbow, that radiates down the arm toward the wrist. Pain often occurs when lifting or squeezing an object.

Tennis elbow is often a form of tendinitis, as tiny tears in the tendon and muscle coverings cause inflammation and pinching of the radial nerve, which controls muscles of the arm and hand. It is a chronic condition that can sideline you for 12 to 18 months, depending on the severity.

Rest is the best medicine. If treatment is needed, medication and physical therapy to strengthen the wrist are conservative and often effective methods. If conservative methods fail, surgery could be an option.

“To prevent tennis elbow, take time to stretch your arm and wrist, warm up before your job or an activity, and strengthen your forearm using hand weights,” says Dr. D. David Ernst, joint replacement specialist at Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron.

To consult with one of our doctors at Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron, please call (810) 985-4900 or click on the Appointment Request button.