Patient : Back in Dec I started lifting weights again after a 3 or so month break. I developed what I believe is Tennis Elbow in my left elbow...becuz of the slight pain and annoyance I stopped for 2-3 weeks to let it rest, however it didnt go away so I go frustrated and resumed lifting. While lefting I can feel the slight pain in my elbow but it wasnt to bad that I couldnt ignore it so thats what I did. After a couple weeks I noticed that the pain is still there and now my elbow makes a popping noise when I move it around sometimes. It doesnt hurt unless its in certain positions like if I hold my arm straight out upside down and push down on it I can feel the slight pain in my elbow. I've decided that Im going to rest it so I dont cause further damage but I really am anxious to resume lifting, but I'm not sure what I can do to remedy the situation. Can someone please help me out with what exactly is going on and the possible extent of the damage, like I said, its only a slight pain [like tennis elbow] and when I twist my arm in certain positions it makes a popping noise.
The repetitive use of the elbow muscles can produce microtears in the tendons, inflammation and pain and is called: Meddial Epicondylitis or Golfer’s elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis or Tennis elbow . In United States is one of the most common causes of elbow pain.
The conservative treatment for the Golfer’s Elbow or Tennis Elbow is as follows: patient education and golf swing modification or tennis technique modification, anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Ibuprofen), physical therapy with flexibility and strengthening exercises, wrist splints if needed, and for patients that do not show significant improvement the corticosteroid injection may be consider.
The patient should be educated about the condition's contributing factors and activity modification, avoid elbow flexion and leaning on the elbow, wrist flexion or any other painful movement. In addition, in the immediate term, the patient should place ice packs on the medial or lateral epicondyle for 10-15 minutes 3-4 times per day to decrease the pain and inflammation that occurs early in medial or lateral epicondylitis. It is very important seek a professional instructor for the proper technique and equipment, and a physical therapist to show you the exercise routine of stretching and range of motion, using ice packs before and after therapy. Sports activities are gradually reinitiated after the pain and inflammation have improved.
These Q&A’s are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.