You don’t need a killer serve or strong backhand to develop Tennis Elbow—in fact, most suffers don’t even play the game! Because this is a fairly common condition, Dr. James Pinkston has a proven method of diagnosing it, and then he can offer a wide selection of proven treatments to help a patient get the relief they need right away.
Also known as lateral epicondylitis , Tennis Elbow is characterized by the outside of the elbow becoming painful, stiff, and noticeably swollen. This pain is concentrated on the large bone on the outside of the elbow and can extend into the forearm and wrist. Motions like gripping or twisting the wrist can be very uncomfortable, and someone’s grip can start to weaken over time without treatment.
Tennis Elbow is primarily caused by overuse of the muscles on the back of the forearm. The forearm muscles and tendons that connect them to the elbow develop small microtears, leading to pain and inflammation. It is a degenerative condition, meaning it will only get worse without intervention.
While fairly common for athletes who play racket sports (hence the name), it stems from making the same forearm and wrist movements over and over again. This is why many people in construction, manufacturing, and manual labor jobs have Tennis Elbow. Activities like turning a doorknob, using a manual screwdriver, or using a mouse for several hours a day can cause symptoms and pain to flare up.
Dr. James Pinkston uses a few different methods to determine whether or not a patient is dealing with Tennis Elbow. First, he takes a history, learning about what activities the patient regularly engages in, and then he performs a physical exam. After that, he uses medical imaging, such as X-rays and diagnostic ultrasound, to find the root cause of someone’s pain. This approach allows him to rule out any other potential causes so he can recommend the most effective treatment.
There is a wide spectrum of treatments that can be helpful for those with Tennis Elbow. The simplest includes rest, bracing, and taking anti-inflammatory medications. While this can help with minor cases, for more severe situations, or for patients who can’t take time away from the activity that is causing the condition, Dr. Pinkston can recommend a more robust technique.
This may involve injecting the area with PRP, prolotherapy/Prolozone, or biologic cells from a patient’s body. These act to focus and stimulate the healing response in the particular area where the damage has occurred. The big advantages of these methods are that they work very quickly, plus they allow a patient to live their life without interruption while still addressing their condition in a very effective way.
With the appropriate treatment, physical therapy, and rest, a patient can fully recover from Tennis Elbow. After that, activity modification and taking breaks when needed can prevent it from coming back.