Maury K. Harwood, M.D.
Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Doctor located in Morgan Hill, CA
You don't have to be a tennis ace, or play tennis at all, to suffer from tennis elbow. Any repetitive motion that strains and inflames the tendons in your arm can result in this condition. At Harwood Orthopedics, located in Morgan Hill, California and serving patients in neighboring South San Jose as well, board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Maury Harwood offers a vast array of treatment options to remedy tennis elbow pain. Call or book an appointment online with Dr. Harwood today.
Tennis Elbow Q & A
What is tennis elbow?
Despite its name, tennis elbow affects athletes and non-athletes alike. It’s a painful condition caused by tendons being strained in your wrist and arm. Repetitive motions with your wrists and hands can lead to tennis elbow, so if you’re an athlete or have a job with lots of repeated movements, like a carpenter or a painter, you could be at risk. It’s most common in people aged 30-50.
If you have tennis elbow, the pain associated with the condition travels from the outside of your elbow down to your forearm and wrist. Tennis elbow can make it hard to do routine everyday things like:
- Shake hands with someone
- Open jars or doors
- Hold or lift anything
Make sure to see Dr. Harwood if you’re experiencing pain in your elbow, forearm, and wrist that doesn’t subside after some rest and pain medication.
What causes tennis elbow?
Overuse and strain of the muscles and tendons you use to straighten and raise your hand and wrist causes tennis elbow. Over time, repetitive motions that you do while playing sports or at your job lead to small tears in tendons in your forearms.
Tennis elbow gets its name because tennis players with poor form on their backhand stroke often suffer from it. But there are many common motions you do with your arms that can lead to tennis elbow over time, including:
- Cooking (cutting up ingredients)
- Hammering nails
- Playing racquetball
How do you diagnose and treat tennis elbow?
Dr. Harwood performs a physical exam, applying pressure to your elbow, forearm, and wrist. If he thinks something else might be causing your pain, he’ll likely take X-rays or another imaging test.
If he diagnoses you with tennis elbow, Dr. Harwood may suggest medication to treat the pain and inflammation, and he may recommend physical therapy to strengthen your forearm muscles. If your symptoms are caused by work-related movement, learning how to modify the way you do certain motions at your job can help relieve the pressure on the affected tendons.
Dr. Harwood also works with you to develop a plan on how to balance rest with activity, and he oversees your recovery process. In more severe cases, which are rare, he may consider surgical treatment options to treat tennis elbow.