Epicondylitis: What It Is
We talk about epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, when the tendons that connect the muscles of the forearm, where the lateral epicondyle is located (hence the name "epicondylitis"), to the outer part of the elbow become inflamed. Inflammation arises from continuous and excessive use of the extensor muscles, such inflammation affects people from 30 to 50 years old and is considered one degenerative disease, that is, it gets worse over time.
Epicondylitis manifests itself with a ache which starts from the top of the elbow, also covering the back of the forearm, up to the hand and, sometimes, also to the middle and ring fingers.
This problem is common to those who practice certain sports frequently, including tennis, squash, fencing, golf and all those sports where the elbow is often used. It can also be common among bricklayers, painters, tailors, cooks and in all those jobs in which continuous movements are performed involving the elbow, wrist and hand.
Symptoms And Remedies
The symptom of epicondylitis is pain in the elbow, with possible irritation in the wrist and hand.
The recommended remedies, after making the appropriate diagnosis, to relieve pain are:
- Rest: if the epicondylitis is mild, the problem can be solved by resting and avoiding, for a period, the sporting activity that caused the inflammation;
- Cold ice packs: to soothe the pain it is recommended to apply cold compresses on the elbow, for a few minutes and several times a day;
- Pain relievers: if the pain persists and is “intense”, you can try to use a pain reliever (also for external use, such as creams, gels or arnica) to see if the inflammation is reduced;
- Tutors: it is a sort of containment band, equipped with reinforcement and internal cushion, which allows you to put pressure on the muscle in order to reduce muscle tension and pain due to inflammation;
- Therapies with infiltrations and lasers in the most extreme cases.
If the problem persists, some resort to a surgical treatment, which can be performed percutaneously, arthroscopically or incisionally. The technique involves the detachment of the tendon (intervention of Hohmann) or the removal of the degenerated tendon (surgery of Nirschi).
How To Avoid Epicondylitis In The Padel
The causes of elbow inflammation, for those who play at padel or tennis, they can be multiple; as a rule, the reason is the bad technique during the stroke, but also using an incorrect grip or an excessively light grip, can result in inflammation.
To avoid the onset of inflammation, you can follow these simple rules:
- Joke: it is essential to learn to beat well, to avoid injuries of any kind. To make a quality joke, it is important to develop a simple and effective technique; the ideal is to hit with the elbow well bent and spread it at the exact moment of impact with the ball, especially in backhand shots.
- Handle: it is good that the grip of the handle has a suitable thickness, it must not be too thin or too thick. In addition to this, it is essential to hold the racket correctly.
- Train the arm: to reduce the problem of tennis elbow, it is good to keep the arm trained with many exercises. In addition, training the arm contributes to the maintenance of the muscles, which will keep them healthy and strong.
In conclusion, having good technique and good training is sometimes not enough. The racket used also plays its part, so it is important to make an investment, right away, on the instrument to reduce and prevent any future damage.