Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis is a painful condition caused by inflammation of tendons that connect the elbow. It is named so because it is usually associated with people who play tennis and/or other racquet sports, although it can also be caused by other sports as well.
The inflammation of the tendons inside the elbow damages the muscles inside. The forearm muscles and tendons can also become damaged due to overuse i.e. repetition of the same motion continuously. Pain and tenderness in the external part of the elbow are caused due to this situation.
CAUSES OF TENNIS ELBOW
Studies have found two major causes of the tennis elbow. They are:
• Overuse of the elbow: Damage to the elbow, especially in the form of a tennis elbow, occurs due to the damage inflicted on a particular muscle of the forearm. The ECRB or the extensor carpi raialis brevis is the muscle that helps in stabilizing the wrist when the elbow is straight. In situations where the ECRB is weakened due to overuse, tiny and microscopic tears are formed in the tendons. These are attached to the lateral epicondyle. This can lead to heavy pain and inflammation. Besides, the ECRB is generally prone to risk due to its position in the elbow. When the elbow bends and straightens, the muscles are rubbed against the bony bumps of the elbow. Over time, this causes gradual wearing and tearing of the muscles.
• Physical activities: While in most cases, Affects athletes, particularly the tennis players, other people can also develop this condition. People who participate in rigorous physical activity that involves a continuous and strenuous use of the forearm muscle are prone to tennis elbow. Plumbers, painter and carpenters, whose job involves the excessive use of the forearm can develop tennis elbow compared to the general population. It is the repetition of motion and the carrying of weight that is a part of the job that causes the tennis elbow.
• Age: Generally people who are between the age of 30 and 50 are most likely to develop the injuries that lead. However, anyone can contract the disease if the risk factors are present.
SYMPTOMS OF TENNIS ELBOW
The commonly found symptoms of the tennis elbow are:
• Pain in the outer side of the elbow
• Burning sensation in the elbow
• Weakness in grip and strength of the elbow
The symptoms of the tennis elbow emerge gradually.
For many patients, the pain starts mildly and worsens as months and weeks pass. There need not be any specific injury or wound that can start the symptoms of the tennis elbow. These symptoms are however worsened with activity in the forearm. These activities include shaking hands, holding a racquet, turning a key. Since tennis elbow is caused by overuse, the dominant arm is prone to be affected, although both arms can be affected.
TENNIS ELBOW IN AYURVEDA
Ayurveda believes that there is a deterioration of the pitta disha combined with the increase of the vata dosha. Tennis elbow, according to Ayurveda can be easily treated with specialized external and internal medications. In the chronic cases of tennis elbow, it is believed to have the involvement of kapha. As a result, in such cases, the treatment will take a longer time to show improvement.
The treatment involves anti-inflammatory medicines. These aim to heal the tears that are present in the tendons and ligaments of the elbow. Massaging of Ayurvedic oils can relax the elbow and contribute its recovery. Other Ayurvedic therapies such as Podikkizhi and Ilakkizhi are also known to relieve the symptoms.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE AYURVEDIC CONSULTATION FOR TENNIS ELBOW?
During the Ayurvedic consultation for the, your doctor will examine your elbow to find the extent of damage to the tendons. After this, the treatment is begun. The treatment aims to pacify the aggravated doshas, improve the general circulation in the body and reduce the degeneration thereby aiding in rejuvenating the muscles and tendons.
Your doctor will also administer Ayurvedic medicines. Prasainyasi kashayam, Astavargam kashayam and Rasnasaptakam kashaya are generally used in the treatment for tennis elbow. You will also be given an oil that you will have to massage on the elbow. Gandha tailam is another medicine which should be consumed at night before sleep. Apart from these Boswellia capsules are also to be consumed daily according to the prescription of your doctor.