Tennis Elbow Specialist

Rio Grande Pain Team

Pain Medicine located in Weslaco, TX & McAllen, TX

You don’t have to be an avid tennis player to develop tennis elbow. The same injury occurs when you engage in any activity that repeatedly uses your forearm muscle. Dennis Slavin, MD at Rio Grande Pain Team specializes in interventional pain management, using targeted therapies to treat the source of your pain. To get quick relief from painful tennis elbow, call the office in Weslaco, Texas or book an appointment online.

Tennis Elbow Q & A

What causes tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, results from an overuse injury in the tendons that attach muscles in your forearm to your elbow. The affected muscle is used to extend and turn your wrist, a movement that’s common in tennis.

The condition occurs when you repeatedly extend your wrist, placing ongoing stress on the tendon. As a result, small tears that develop in the tendon become inflamed and painful.

Although swinging a tennis racquet is one of the most common causes of tennis elbow, any activity that demands similar repetitive use of your forearm muscle can lead to the same problem.

For example, plumbers, painters, carpenters, and butchers are all at risk of developing tennis elbow.

What symptoms will I develop from tennis elbow?

You will primarily feel pain at the prominent bony bump on the outside of your elbow. Your symptoms may be mild at first, or feel more like a burning sensation on the outer part of your elbow rather than pain.

If you continue to engage in the same activity, your pain worsens over several weeks or months. The pain may radiate into your arm and wrist, and your grip may weaken.

As the damage progressively worsens, everyday activities like gripping an object or shaking someone’s hand may cause pain.

How is tennis elbow treated?

When you first go in for treatment, your doctor carefully evaluates your arm and may order diagnostic imaging such as X-rays or an MRI to rule out other possible causes of your pain.

For most patients, treatment begins with conservative therapies that may include:

  • Modifying your activities to rest your arm and give the damaged tendon time to heal
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and swelling
  • Physical therapy or exercise to strengthen your forearm muscle
  • Massage to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and relax the muscles
  • Wrist or forearm brace to rest muscles and the tendon and relieve pressure

If your pain persists despite these treatments, Dr. Slavin may recommend ultrasound-guided steroid injections, a treatment that targets the injured area of the tendon.

When Dr. Slavin injects steroid medication at the site of the injury, it reduces inflammation, provides pain relief, and promotes quick recovery.

Tennis elbow can be quite painful, but relief is available at Rio Grande Pain Team. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book an appointment online.