Tennis Elbow Treatment in Singapore
Tennis elbow is the most common cause of elbow pain and it affects more than just tennis players. Known by doctors as lateral epicondylitis, this painful condition is caused by repetitive motions that weaken your muscles and can cause tears to the tendons of your elbow.
Fortunately, tennis elbow is easily treated and rarely requires invasive treatment if you manage the problem early on. If you’ve been dealing with nagging pain, now is the time to seek treatment.
What Is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is a common type of ailment that doctors call an overuse injury. It often occurs with tennis plays who consistently grip their racquets too tightly. It is not exclusive to tennis players though and can affect anyone who makes repetitive movements in their work or free time. This can include baseball players, golfers, bowlers, fencers, or anyone else who plays any kind of racquet sport. It is also common with hobbies and professionals gardening, cooking, painting, cleaning, carpentry, and any type of factory work.
What Are the Main Causes of Tennis Elbow?
In your arm, you have tissues that connect your muscles to your bones called tendons. When these tendons become overwhelmed, they get inflamed. This can escalate to degradation and finally tearing.
When your muscle gets tired from overuse, the load is passed onto the tendon. This will cause a condition called tendinitis, which causes inflammation and pain. If you continually overload the tendons of your elbow, you can get a degenerative condition called tendinosis. When you are dealing with both tendinitis and tendinosis, you may end up with tears in your tendon.
While most elbow pain is caused by overuse, it can also be caused by an injury to your arm or elbow.
Tennis Elbow Exercises
If you're experiencing tennis elbow, check out this video below for effective stretching exercises that can help relieve your injury.
Frequently-Asked Questions About Tennis Elbow in Singapore
You will feel tennis elbow on the outside of your elbow. This pain may even extend down into your forearm and your hand. The area of pain may range by severity level. In mild cases, you might feel discomfort only when you’re using your elbow. In more severe cases, you might feel the pain even when your elbow is at rest.
Tennis elbow affects the lateral tendon, which is the outer part of your elbow. In contrast, golfer’s elbow affects the epicondyle tendon, which is the inner part of the elbow. While tennis players can certainly get golfer’s elbow, just as golfers can get tennis elbow, it is a question of the part of your elbow affected.
If you have golfer’s elbow, you will feel a pain that travels from your inner elbow all the way down your arm. It is common to feel a tingling or numbness in your fingers with golfer’s elbow.
Since tennis elbow is caused by overuse, the symptoms will usually come on slowly. You will find that that pain has gotten worse over recent weeks and months.
A few telltale signs of tennis elbow include:
- Pain in your outer elbow
- Discomfort that extends to your wrist
- Aches that get worse at night
- Pangs when you twist or bend your arm
- Stiffness when you extend your arm
- Swollen elbow joint
- Your elbow is tender to the touch
- Your grip is weak
When you come to our Singapore clinic, you can expect to get started with a physical examination. Our specialist will check for signs of swelling and ask you about the symptoms of stiffness and pain you have been feeling.
To take a closer look, your doctor may recommend one of the following exams to check for tennis elbow.
- X-rays: This will confirm it is tennis elbow and not arthritis or a fracture.
- MRI or CT: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans are used to take a clearer look at the damage to your tendons and muscles.
- EMG: An electromyography (EMG) test can measure your nerve's electrical activity and look for compressed nerves.
What is the fastest tennis elbow cure? Let’s look at a few of the most common steps that your doctor may recommend to cure tennis elbow.
- Rest: This is the first step. Your tendons need a few weeks to heal.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen will help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Support brace: Wearing a removable support brace can be helpful for taking the stress off of your tendons and muscles while they heal.
- Physical therapy: Strategic exercises can help you build up the muscles of your forearm and build up your grip strength again.
- Massage: Focused massage can help to reduce pain while improving your range of motion.
- Steroid injections: For more severe cases, corticosteroids may be recommended to relieve pain and inflammation.
Depending on the severity of your tennis elbow, your doctor may recommend any of these or a range of additional more intensive treatments.
We often get questions about how to treat tennis elbow at home. While it is essential to remember that you need to get your elbow looked at by a professional, some natural cures for tennis elbow can help with mild cases.
In addition to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen, your doctor may recommend a range of other at-home remedies like rest and over-the-counter medication.
Is Hot or Cold Better for Tennis Elbow?
During the early stages of an injury, it is best to opt for cold treatment. It will help to reduce inflammation. While it is uncomfortable at first, it will reduce the pain.
Remember, if your pain is getting worse with time despite rest and applying ice, it is time to see a doctor. Once your issue has been diagnosed and other potential problems have been eliminated, your doctor may recommend regular heat treatment for chronic pain.
Is Deep Heat Good for Tennis Elbow?
Deep Heat works in a similar way to applying a hot compress. If you’re dealing with long-term pain, this can be a good solution. Keep in mind, however, that it’s not right for everyone. Chat with your medical specialists before starting a regular routine at homecare.
Is Tiger Balm Good for Tennis Elbow?
Like Deep Heat, products like Tiger Balm can help to warm up the area in a similar way to a hot compress. This can be great for occasional pain but it’s important not to overuse it. If the pain persists, it’s time to see a specialist to find other solutions.
On average, tennis elbow gets better within one month to a year. Occasionally severe cases may take up to two years. The speed of recovery depends greatly on treatment. The sooner that you seek treatment, the faster your recovery will be. In cases where tennis elbow is left untreated, we find that recovery is slower and more difficult.
Tennis elbow only gets better with proper care. If you ignore the issue and avoid starting treatments, the pain can persist indefinitely. The good news, however, is that treatment is simple and painless. In most cases, a simple wrap and anti-inflammatory treatments will resolve the issue. If you delay, however, these quick and easy fixes for tennis elbow become less successful.
Getting a Tennis Elbow Treatment in Singapore
Looking to get treatment for your tennis elbow in Singapore? Don’t delay another day! The specialists here at Ray of Health will diagnose your case and create the perfect treatment plan to get you to live pain-free again in no time.
Why wait another day? You can contact us online, by email at email@example.com, by phone at +65 6235 8781, or by WhatsApp at +65 8028 4572.
About the Author
Dr James Tan C H
Dr James Tan is a highly skilled surgeon who has more than 10 years of experience in sports surgery and exercise medicine. Apart from partnering the industry to pioneer advanced and proven treatment techniques, Dr Tan has treated athletes from the Singapore National Teams and professional footballers from the Singapore Premier League and the Young Lions. He is a member of the elite Asian Shoulder and Elbow Group and a founding member of the Singapore Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Society.