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How to manage a bowler's tennis elbow?

Thursday, 07 July 2005
Answered by: Dr. Shirish Kumar
DoctorNDTV
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Q. I have contracted bowler tennis elbow. I have not bowled for 8 weeks now. The pain was very severe and I visited a doctor who confirmed that I had bowler elbow. I have undergoing therapy for the last 8 weeks. I was told that I cannot bowl yet. I bowl 3 full time leagues a year and 1 part time league, I also bowl the weekends at 9 pin tournies. Will I be able to bowl all the leagues I have been bowling? Should I change from a 15# ball to a 14# ball or less in weight to help? Can a wrist gaurd help me with this? What will help me to get back to bowling? Will wearing a tennis elbow brace is enough?

A.  Tennis elbow is a condition caused by inflammation of the tendons on the outside (lateral side) of the elbow at a bony prominence (lateral epicondyle) of the upper arm. Any repetitive movement of the wrist that requires excessive constant gripping or squeezing (like tennis, hedge clipping, excessive use of a hammer or screwdriver, painting etc.) can cause it. Treatment generally is with rest to the part, use of ice packs and pain-killers. If there is no relief, other treatment modalities are added. An elbow strap or splint will help by taking the pressure off the inflamed tendon. You would also need to do physiotherapy at home so that there is an increase in flexibility and strength. The treatment has to be continued for the prescribed length of time as stopping prematurely increases the chance of re-injury to the tendon. Surgery is done if symptoms are present for more than 6-12 months despite non-surgical treatment. You need to cut down on the number of tourneys, wear your brace while playing and use a lighter ball.

A.  Tennis elbow is a condition caused by inflammation of the tendons on the outside (lateral side) of the elbow at a bony prominence (lateral epicondyle) of the upper arm. Any repetitive movement of the wrist that requires excessive constant gripping or squeezing (like tennis, hedge clipping, excessive use of a hammer or screwdriver, painting etc.) can cause it. Treatment generally is with rest to the part, use of ice packs and pain-killers. If there is no relief, other treatment modalities are added. An elbow strap or splint will help by taking the pressure off the inflamed tendon. You would also need to do physiotherapy at home so that there is an increase in flexibility and strength. The treatment has to be continued for the prescribed length of time as stopping prematurely increases the chance of re-injury to the tendon. Surgery is done if symptoms are present for more than 6-12 months despite non-surgical treatment. You need to cut down on the number of tourneys, wear your brace while playing and use a lighter ball.

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