Probable problem:?“Using improper mechanics during arm exercises can cause inflammation in the tendon that attaches to the outside of the elbow,” says Edward Laskowski, MD, codirector of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center in Rochester, Minnesota. So-called tennis elbow can be triggered by any activity that overloads the muscles that extend the wrist. It’s most common in people ages 30 to 50.
Action plan: Stop the activity that caused the problem and avoid anything that irritates the elbow. See a doctor; if you leave your elbow to heal on its own, recovery may take several months. A physical therapist will prescribe exercises for the muscles of the forearm. If the pain is severe, your doctor might suggest a cortisone shot, or in rare cases, she might recommend surgery. Once the pain subsides, resume activities but use proper technique. “It’s extremely important to have a tennis pro teach you the fundamentals of a good swing, or a personal trainer show the proper way to lift weights,” says Laskowski.
Originally published in the October 2010 issue of More.