Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition that affects the outer part of the elbow. Tennis elbow affects the tendons that connect the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow and can cause inflammation or, in rare instances, microtears. Doing the same movements over and over damages the tendons and muscles in the forearms. On the outside of the elbow, this results in discomfort and tenderness.
It is caused by overuse or repetitive strain of the forearm muscles and tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle, the bony bump on the outer side of the elbow. This can result in small tears in the tendon and inflammation, causing pain and tenderness in the elbow and forearm. Activities such as playing tennis, repetitive computer work, or manual labor can lead to tennis elbow. Treatment options include rest, ice, physical therapy, and in severe cases, surgery.
Anatomy of the elbow joint
The elbow joint is a complex joint that connects the upper arm bone, the humerus, to the two bones of the forearm, the radius, and the ulna. It is a hinge joint that allows for flexion and extension of the arm, as well as rotation of the forearm. The elbow joint is made up of three bones: the humerus, radius, and ulna. The humerus is the long bone of the upper arm, while the radius and ulna are the two bones of the forearm. At the end of the humerus are two bony projections, called the medial and lateral epicondyles, which provide attachment points for the muscles of the forearm.
Cause of tennis elbow
New research has revealed that tennis elbow, a common condition causing pain and inflammation in the outer part of the elbow, is frequently caused by damage to a specific muscle in the forearm. Known as the ECRB muscle, it aids in stabilizing the wrist during activities such as a tennis groundstroke, especially when the elbow is extended. When this muscle becomes weakened due to excessive use, small tears may form in the tendon where it connects to the lateral epicondyle, leading to pain and inflammation.
Moreover, the ECRB muscle is at an increased risk of harm due to its location. As the elbow moves back and forth, it rubs against bony protuberances, resulting in gradual wear and tear of the muscle over time.
Tennis elbow, contrary to popular belief, is not limited to athletes alone. Individuals who engage in work or leisure activities involving repetitive and strenuous use of the forearm muscle, or those that require a repeated extension of the wrist and hand, can also develop this condition.
Painters, plumbers, and carpenters, among others, have a higher likelihood of developing tennis elbow. Research indicates that people in occupations such as automobile workers, chefs, and butchers also have a greater incidence of tennis elbow than the general population. This is believed to be due to the repetitive movements and lifting of heavy objects required in these professions, which can lead to injury.
While anyone can develop tennis elbow if they have the relevant risk factors, it is most commonly seen in individuals aged between 30 to 50 years old. Within racquet sports like tennis, certain risk factors, such as inadequate stroke technique or the use of improper equipment, may increase the likelihood of developing this condition.
Symptoms of tennis elbow
The symptoms of tennis elbow may include:
- Pain or tenderness on the outer part of the elbow, which may worsen when you grip or lift objects.
- Weakness in your grip, making it difficult to hold objects or perform everyday tasks.
- Stiffness in the elbow joint makes it difficult to straighten or bend your arm.
- Swelling or inflammation around the elbow joint.
- Numbness or tingling in your forearm or fingers may indicate nerve involvement.
Forearm activity, such as holding a racquet, turning a wrench, or shaking hands, frequently aggravates the symptoms. The dominant arm is most commonly affected, but both arms can be affected.
TENS therapy for the treatment of tennis elbow
Some therapists may use ice and electrical stimulation- Tens Units to relieve pain and promote tendon healing.
Electrodes applied to the skin deliver low-voltage intermittent stimulation to the skin’s surface nerves. Endorphins are released as the transmission of pain signals is blocked. Endorphins are the body’s naturally occurring painkillers.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is another name for electrical stimulation (TENS Unit). TENS Units are various types of electrical units used to relieve pain. Flexible wires connect electrodes placed on the skin near the injured area to a TENS Unit stimulator. Electrical impulses are then generated to provide pain relief. The battery-powered Tens unit is portable and can be used by the patient at home.
TENS units by UltraCare PRO
The TENS 1.0 from UltraCare PRO is a rechargeable TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) therapy dual channel digital TENS unit/TENS device/TENS machine physiotherapy pulse massager for nerve stimulation and full body pain relief. The TENS 1.0 machine is a portable, battery-powered device that is connected to the skin via wires.
Features of TENS 1.0
- Dual output channels- TENS 1.0 is engineered with two output channels for the effective treatment of acute and painful conditions within a short period of time.
- Rechargeable- The dual-channel TENS unit comes with a rechargeable battery that allows you to charge the battery and use it while on the go.
- Adjustable controls- TENS 1.0 stimulator offers about 50 intensity levels and 25 programs that you can easily adjust by pressing the controls without any need for professional guidance.
- Smart LCD display- The interactive LCD display comes with smart features like a low battery indicator, and treatment time indicator and displays the program levels and intensity of channels 1 & 2 separately for you to adjust accordingly.
UltrcareCare Pro introduces TENS 2.0, a smart pain management device for joint-muscular pain featuring a modern design with truly wireless and ultra-compact size. Ready-to-use TENS 2.0 is engineered by keeping different purposes and today’s lifestyle in mind. People who are working for long hours in the office are more prone to develop lower back pain and instant-pain reliever TENS 2.0 is a boon to them. Similarly, athletes can relieve their sore and tired muscles immediately and be back in the game the next day.
Features of TENS 2.0
- Smallest, slimmest, smartest – With a sleek, wireless design, it is highly portable, easy to carry, and comes with a smart LCD display.
- Programmable & easy to use – It is easy to operate and comes with 10 treatment modes and 25 power intensity levels which can be controlled simply using the plus or minus buttons.
- Rechargeable & reusable – The electrode pads that come along with it are reusable up to about 50~60 times and even more if maintained well on our storage board.
- Wireless & Portable – The biggest worry of messy wires gets totally eliminated in TENS 2.0 because its strong magnetic plugs hold the device and pad together firmly.
Ultracare Pro offers a range of products that can be used to manage tennis elbow pain, including elbow braces, hot and cold therapy wraps, and TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) units. These products work by providing targeted support and relief to the affected area, helping to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and promote healing.