Dr Martin's Blog

Friday, June 01, 2012

Hundreds of Olympic Torch bearers are suffering from tennis elbow

Tennis elbowThe Olympic Torch relay is leaving a trail of injured torch-bearers in its wake.


Many of the lucky members of the public who have been selected to carry the torch across Britain are now suffering from tennis elbow - an inflammation of the forearm muscles and tendons, caused by prolonged gripping.


“It’s not the one-mile run with the torch that is causing these injuries,” explains a spokesman. “It is the running around with the replica torch for hours and hours afterwards, showing it off to family and friends. One gentleman was parading his torch around his local pub until the early hours of the morning.”


On a serious note, tennis elbow is thought to affect nearly two million people a year in the UK. And it is not just confined to tennis. There are many sports that involve gripping an object for long periods of time; other racquet sports, cricket, weightlifting (holding the bar), canoeing (holding the paddle) as well as being an occupational hazard of construction (holding tools).


As mentioned earlier, tennis elbow is due to inflammation of the forearm muscles and tendons as they attach to the outer side of the upper arm bone (humerus). Its formal name is lateral epicondylitis. A similar condition affecting the inner aspect of the elbow is medial epicondylitis, more commonly known as golfers elbow.


Treatments include rest, physiotherapy, medication (painkillers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), injection of steroid and local anaesthetic, injection of platelet rich plasma (from patient’s own blood), shock wave therapy and surgery (extensor origin release). Perhaps the most successful batsmen in history of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, battled with tennis elbow for years, until he underwent successful surgery. The success of these operations is generally that 85-95% patients get excellent relief from the pain.


Posted by Martin Errington on 06/01 at 09:08 AM