Tennis Elbow Affects Non-Tennis Players Also

By CNN News Wire

Published 08/15 2014 08:26AM

Updated 08/15 2014 08:28AM

That nagging pain in your elbow may not have come from picking up a tennis 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. 

(Melanie Wade) "It started off as more of a burning pain, more of a fatigue," says Melanie 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 um, plumbers, electricians, mechanics - people who are gripping and grasping and turning with their hands," says Dr. Amadeus Mason of Emory Sports Medicine in Atlanta.

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 recalls.

There are ways to prevent tennis elbow.  If you're doing yard work.

"Don't do all of the bushes at once, break it up.  Try not to do as much at one sitting," Dr. Mason urges. 

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

And remember, don't overdo it.

(Holly Firfer for CNN's Health Minute)

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