The Other Side of Sport-Tennis Elbow

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Tennis elbow is a painful inflammation of tissue around the elbow, usually caused by strain from playing tennis, especially for those over 40 years of age. This is an injury of upper arms that tennis players often suffer from. Statistics indicate that 50% of those who play tennis every day and 25% of those who play tennis once or twice a week suffer from tennis elbow.

Tennis elbow is characterized by increasing pain in the outer part of the elbow. The pain is worse when the sufferer tightens the fist or turns the fist. It may come from the following reasons:

            The tennis racket is heavy; the racket handle is too big or too small; strings are too tight; the court surface is too hard; the ball is old.

            Training is not adequate: the upper arm’s muscles are weak.

            Old people (the time for tennis elbow recovery is longer for old players).

Following are some prevention methods:

            The racket, shoes, balls and court must be suitable for the tennis player.

            A proper warm-up session is required before playing.

            Excessive playing is not recommended, especially for those over 45.

            More appropriate physical exercises are needed.

Tennis elbow should be attended to as soon as possible. A sufferer can undertake self-treatment as follows:

            Apply ice to tennis elbow three or four times a day, each time for 10 -15 minutes, within 24-72 hours after beginning injured.

            Exercise to recover use of muscles and tendons, and to flex shoulder, elbow and wrist joints.

            Apply a hot compress or heat with infrared light twice a day, each time for 30 minutes.

            Rub the injury with pain relief gels such as Voltaren Emulgel and Profenid. Analgesics and anti-inflammatories can be taken at the same time.

            Massage the elbow

            Press such acu-points as the inner part of the elbow and the outer part of the elbow.

            The main cause of tennis elbow must be detected to avoid it recurring.

            Contact a doctor if the injury is critical.

            Temporarily stop playing tennis during the treatment period.

New tennis player should pay close attention to some technical tips:

            Learn basic tennis playing techniques from a coach.

            Warm up your arms, legs, head and neck for at least 10 minutes before playing.

            Do not play with wet balls; use new balls.

            Smash the ball with the strength of your shoulders, body and legs instead of your arm.

            Try to hit the ball with the center of striking surface of the racket.

            Do not try to slow the speed of the racket after hitting the ball.

            Practice leg exercises to be able to reach the ball.

Other tips on equipment:

            Use light, quality rackets (340-354 grams).

            The tension area of the racket’s strings should follow the ages of players.

            Racket handles should be suitable for each player.

            Do not play on court surfaces that are too hard.

            Wear a protective band only when suffering a tennis elbow.


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