When you suffer a soft tissue or muscle injury, it is common to experience some swelling or inflammation. This is expected when you suffer from a repetitive strain injury such as tennis elbow.
What many individuals who suffer from tennis elbow don’t realize is that the swelling and inflammation is only present and can be felt or seen, only within the first 2-3 weeks of suffering their injury. This can add serious confusion when searching for the best type of tennis elbow treatment after you’ve been medically diagnosed and it’s confirmed that your elbow pain is indeed tennis elbow.
When the initial phase of a tennis elbow has subsided, so does the inflammation. This can be extremely dangerous as many sufferers then get a “false sense of security” that their injury has subsided and they are on the road to recovery.
This is unfortunately when more damage to the extensor tendon occurs. Reason being is due to the lack of elbow swelling, many tennis elbow sufferers return to the hobbies, activities, sports or job that caused their injury in the first place. It is usually an arm movement which is repetitive in nature that caused their tennis elbow condition in the first place.
As they continue with these movements, motions or activities they are actually creating a larger tear in their extensor tendon without actually knowing it. It is no different than a rope unraveling. If they continue with the activities that creates the strain, wear and tear, they can actually suffer a complete tear of their extensor tendon. And the only way to repair it, is through invasive, painful tennis elbow surgery.
Beyond the 3 week period or phase of suffering a tennis elbow surgery, elbow swelling and inflammation is replaced by tendon degeneration. The tendon will continue to break down until proactive measures are taken to repair it. Not many individuals who suffer from tennis elbow realize that the only way to build the tendon back up is with strengthening exercises that strategically target the extensor tendon and forearm muscles.
The lesson to be learned here is to always listen to professional medical advice and don’t become complacent when it comes to soft tissue and muscle injuries. Just because your swelling and inflammation has dissipated, it doesn’t mean that you are fully healed and recovered.