Gomito del tennista o epicondilite: cos’è e prevenzione

Tennis elbow or epicondylitis: what it is and prevention

How to treat functional overload injuries Reading Tennis elbow or epicondylitis: what it is and prevention 5 minutes Next How to optimize active recovery

We talk about epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, when the tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the outside of the elbow (lateral epicondyle) become inflamed. It is a degenerative disease which, if not treated properly, gets worse over time. The main cause is to be found in a continuous and excessive use of the elbow and the most affected age group is between 30 and 50 years.

Epicondylitis not only affects tennis players, but has been nicknamed "tennis elbow" because tennis is a sport that puts pressure on the elbow joint and the musculoskeletal structures affected by the disorder. There are other activities, not sports, that can cause the appearance of this condition (such as working for a long time at the computer).

Causes and symptoms of tennis elbow

In the case of excessive and continuous use of the elbow, inflammation can arise in the muscles and tendons that insert into the lateral epicondyle and which are responsible for extending the wrist or fingers of the hand.

At first, the pain affects only the tendons and increases with activities that require the involvement of the muscles of the affected limb. With prolonged abuse, the painful manifestation can radiate along the forearm and persist even at rest, resulting in the progressive reduction of hand, wrist and elbow functionality.

Symptoms develop gradually. In most cases, the pain starts off mild and slowly gets worse over weeks and months; the course can be acute or chronic.

In some cases, it can also become limiting in carrying out daily activities because it prevents arm movements. The most common symptoms are:

  • pain localized in the elbow joint area or radiating along the forearm up to the wrist;
  • pain following use of the wrist or hand;
  • weakness of the wrist and forearm.

The state of health of the elbow can be analyzed with a radiograph, which can highlight the presence of calcifications in the tissues at the insertion level of the extensor carpi radialis muscle. An MRI can help confirm the diagnosis.

How to treat tennis elbow

Epicondylitis is generally a disorder that tends to improve spontaneously, but there are precautions that can be followed to facilitate the disappearance of the symptoms.

  • Anti inflammatory drugs. Taking a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory for tennis elbow can help manage pain and reduce inflammation. paracetamol and ibuprofen can be used both in the form of topical preparations and for oral intake.
  • Rest. Don't overwork your elbow, but don't leave it still either. In many cases it is sufficient to wear an elastic sleeve on the forearm at night to reduce the symptoms.
  • Physiotherapy. Application of manual techniques (massage and manipulation), exercises or treatments, can help reduce the healing time of the disorder.
  • Surgery. Only when, despite the treatments, the symptoms persist and become disabling; in general, the maximum treatment time allowed, before proceeding with an operation, is 6 months.

Tennis elbow: exercises for treatment and prevention

A certain attention to avoiding excessively repeated efforts and movements can help to avoid the onset of the disorder. In addition, stretching exercises can be performed, exercises to strengthen the wrist extensor muscles, stretching exercises to extend the elbow, close the hand and flex the wrist with a slight ulnar deviation. If you are not in the acute phase, you can work by making contractions (for example using a foam ball to hold in your hand).

Epicondylitis: exercises to avoid

If you want to continue training in the gym, you don't need to perform exercises involving the entire upper limb, such as weights and lifts. It is therefore necessary to avoid any machinery that can strain the elbow, wrist and hand joints.

FLOKY sleeve to support the forearm muscles and elbow

In addition to specific exercises and prevention, a good remedy to reduce pain or soreness due to tennis elbow is to use special clothing to treat these disorders and which work in synergy with the movements of the body. In this regard, FLOKY has achieved NO-STRAIN, a biomechanical sleeve designed to reduce the vibrations that cause inflammatory problems and injuries, particularly suitable for sports such as tennis, even if suitable for those who usually play a sport that involves mechanical movements of the arm.

The FLOKY sleeve protects and supports the athlete's elbow, forearm and all tendon and muscle parts, thanks to the stabilization generated by the compression of the tissue combined with biomechanical applications; they allow you to have immediate relief from vibrational stresses with a consequent reduction of inflammatory disorders and injuries.


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