When it comes to "tennis elbow", many people think that it is caused by playing too much tennis. Is this really the case? Today I will talk to you about the treatment and prevention of tennis elbow.
What is tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow, as the name suggests, is named after people who like tennis often have pain in the elbow joint. The medical name is lateral epicondylitis.
What causes tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow pain is caused by a chronic tear and strain caused by repetitive strain on the forearm extensor muscles. Patients feel pain in the affected area when gripping or lifting objects. It is a typical example of pain caused by muscle overuse.
Tennis and badminton players are more commonly affected by this disease. Housewives, bricklayers, carpenters, etc. who repeatedly exert their elbows for a long time are also prone to this disease. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that tennis elbow belongs to "elbow fatigue" and belongs to the category of "muscle obstruction". It is mostly caused by chronic strain, or the invasion of wind, cold and dampness pathogens, and the damage of the elbow meridians, resulting in local qi stagnation and blood stasis, and the veins are blocked.
What are the main symptoms?
The main symptoms of tennis elbow are the gradual pain on the outside of the elbow joint, which radiates to the forearm. Some patients will experience a burning sensation in the elbow; the grip strength of the hand is weakened by the pain, and some patients will have elbow snapping when they move the forearm, which is serious. The pain can affect the flexion and extension of the patient's elbow; in most cases, tennis elbow starts with mild pain and gradually worsens. When the patient makes a fist, twists screws, towels, and even sweeps the floor and other daily activities, the local Pain intensifies. Therefore, when you have pain on the outside of the elbow joint for a period of time, and the pain gradually worsens, and even affects your daily work and life, you should go to the orthopaedic and trauma department of the hospital in time.
How is tennis elbow treated?
Tennis elbow is a self-limiting disease. The main purpose of treatment is to control or eliminate pain. A personalized treatment plan can be formulated according to the specific situation of the patient to avoid recurrence.
Adequate rest, proper ice
In the acute stage of tennis elbow, redness, swelling, heat, and pain appear on the outside of the elbow joint. The first thing to do at this time is to avoid activities that cause pain. You can use protective gear to limit activities. Try not to exercise until the pain disappears, especially not Play tennis to rest the sore muscles on the back of your forearm. You can also wrap ice cubes with a towel and apply them to the outside of the elbow for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, 4 times a day. After a week of ice application, the pain on the outside of the elbow will generally be relieved. When applying ice, you should pay attention to avoiding direct contact with the ice cubes. skin to avoid frostbite.
Chinese and Western medicine treatment
In terms of drug treatment, tennis elbow patients can properly take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs under the guidance of doctors to play an anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effect, or externally use ointments for promoting blood circulation and dredging meridians to relieve symptoms. Some studies have also shown that fumigation of traditional Chinese medicine can warm the meridians, dispel cold, activate blood and relieve pain, accelerate the metabolism of local lesions, and accelerate the repair of lesions.
TCM non-drug therapy
Acupuncture and moxibustion in traditional Chinese medicine is an effective treatment method for tennis elbow. Acupuncture at acupoints produces stimulation, improves local blood circulation, and relieves pain symptoms. At home, we can also use the thumb of the healthy side to press the acupoints of Shousanli, Quchi and Hegu on the upper limb of the affected side. Each point for about 1 to 2 minutes, can play a role in relieving pain.
Axtracorporeal shock wave therapy
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy is now the leading treatment method in the field of physical therapy, and it is also a characteristic treatment method of traditional Chinese medicine. and physiological effects to achieve the purpose of treatment, it can be applied to the treatment of tennis elbow clinically.
Rehabilitation exercise methods
After the acute phase, the inflammation gradually disappears, the injured tendon begins to repair, and the pain gradually decreases. It can be combined with physical therapy such as ultrasonic therapy and hyperthermia to speed up recovery. When tendons are repaired, scar tissue develops, affecting joint flexibility and muscle contraction control after rehabilitation. At this point, appropriate rehabilitation exercises should be started.
1. Grip strength exercise: You can use rubber balls and other items to grasp, 3 to 5 minutes each time, 3 times a day, the time and frequency can be gradually increased, but do not take too long at a time.
2. Stretching exercises: straight elbow, supination of forearm, flexion of wrist, feeling of stretch or even slight pain at lateral epicondyle of humerus, keep 5 times at the maximum, repeat 10 times as 1 group, 3 groups per day .
3. Rubber band support exercise: Put a rubber band on the affected side's five fingers, stretch the rubber band with five fingers abduction, 20 times as 1 group, 3 groups each time, 2 times a day.
4. Forearm rotation exercise: After making a fist, spread the affected arm to the outside of the body, turning from the back of the hand to the palm of the hand, 20 times as 1 group, 3 groups each time, 2 times a day.
5. Wrist flexion exercise: sit in a sitting position, with the affected elbow and forearm lying flat on the thigh, with the wrist sticking out of the knee, the palm facing up, lightly clenching a fist, and doing your best to complete the flexion angle of the wrist. You can also hold a small dumbbell or mineral water for exercise. , 15 times as a group, 3 groups each time, 2 times a day.
If the patient is ineffective after conventional treatment, closed treatment can be considered in the hospital; if it is refractory tennis elbow, after half a year to 1 year of regular conservative treatment, if the symptoms are still serious and affect life and work, surgery can be taken.
Precautions in daily life
First of all, for high-risk groups like tennis, before doing this kind of exercise, you should first do warm-up and tendon stretching activities, and at the same time fully activate the muscle strength, and you must avoid excessive and continuous high before entering the exercise. load movement.
For people who do not have the habit of playing tennis, tennis elbow is caused by some daily reasons. More importantly, it is necessary to avoid excessive wrist extension, elbow extension, and long-term heavy lifting.
At the same time, to enhance the strength of the forearm muscles, a good preventive effect can be achieved by enhancing the strength of the forearm muscles.
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