Tennis Elbow

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That nagging pain in your elbow may not be from picking up a racket. Many people get tennis elbow off the court.

You don't have to be a tennis player to get tennis elbow.  Melanie Wade got it from a weekend of too much yard work.

"It started off as more of a burning pain, more of a fatigue," said Wade.

The condition is really an injury caused by overusing the wrist.  There is pain in the elbow because a tendon that connects a muscle of the lower arm to the elbow gets inflamed, or as in Wade's case, gets small tears in it.

It can affect people in many professions.

"Anything that is repetitive: plumbers, electricians, mechanics, people who are gripping and grasping and turning with their hands," said Dr. Amadeus Mason.

Wade is getting physical therapy.  Rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medicines were not enough for her to heal.  It's been hard for her to grip things.

"I couldn't empty the dishwasher. I couldn't lift a glass," Wade said.

There are ways to prevent tennis elbow.  If you're doing yard work, Dr. Mason said, "Don't do all of the bushes at once. Break it up. Try not to do as much at one sitting."

And if you do play tennis, "Make sure that as you get started with the sport that you do some exercises to strengthen the grip of your hand," said Dr. Mason.

And remember: don't overdo it.

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