Yes, fishing may cause tennis elbow. In fact, it is one of the activities that most likely cause tennis elbow if necessary measures are not taken. So, what is tennis elbow and how to avoid/treat it? Tennis elbow is a disorder that includes the degeneration of the tendons of the forearm which extend the fingers and operates the wrist. The pain generally occurs about the exterior part of the elbow at the center of the extensor tendons. It may get worse if you lift objects with your hand facing the ground, turn something like a screwdriver, or use spinning reels.
Tennis elbow is mainly caused by the repetitive action of the muscles, a past injury which narrows down the blood flow or alters the inborn balance of the elbow, or some degenerative process which occurs in the attachment points of the tendons. There are also some other conditions which we should rule out in these cases, namely: arthritis, tear of a ligament or even a muscle, and the radial tunnel syndrome.
To treat this condition, you should avoid the activity which causes the underlying problem. There is no option like stop fishing for especially spring fishermen, so at least modifications must be done. Changing the fishing rod or wrist angles or avoiding the use of problematic equipment are some of the strategies that patients with tennis elbow may use.
You may use anti-inflammatory solutions as well. There are options such as ice, anti-inflammatory medication, or cortisone injections. However, you should take care because cortisone shots involve risks and should be considered as the last option.
The more important thing is that this condition needs to be examined by an expert in terms of the functioning of the elbow, shoulder, and wrist, and it should be treated with effective medication. In the case where muscles or joints are restricted and restrain the normal movement patterns or overcharge the tendons and ligaments, no one can treat this condition completely.
At some health centers using the latest technology, lateral epicondylitis is cured by using some techniques namely Active Release Technique and Graston Technique where the scar tissue formed because of the injury and overloaded tension on the joints is broken to relieve the pain of the patient. If the pain gets worse or won’t go away, you may want to resort to these treatment methods to get better as well as avoiding the same condition in the future.
Tennis Elbow In Fishing – Fishing Elbow
Some specific motions in fishing, such as casting and shaking a worm cause too much stress on the elbow. This stress inflames and forces the tendon on the exterior part of your elbow. Because of the muscles’ manner of work, the inflammation takes place in which the muscle connects to that particular tendon. Therefore, fishing (casting) stresses that tendon on the exterior part of the elbow due to the way the wrist works. It resembles the movement in tennis which includes the same type of motion. Both cause stress on the weak point of that muscle chain. Nearly all of the fishermen who get elbow pain feel it in that specific spot.
If we need to think positively, resting, applying ice and stretching can fix the inflammation to some extent. However, the inflammation can also cause critical failure on the elbow. It may start as an insignificant inflammation, which is essentially the outcome of cumulative microtrauma and those tiny little tears reach a breakpoint in the long run and do tear. Yes, that means you have serious problems. It’s called an overuse injury.
Treatment And Prevention of Fishing Elbow
You have to start with recognizing the problem completely to prevent and treat fishing elbow. It starts and remains in a single and identifiable point which is the exterior part of the elbow, closer to the hand, not the shoulder. One time you feel fishing elbow start, you must take action immediately. To test if you have fishing elbow or not sit down in a chair and hang your arm down through your leg. Bend your palm upwards till it has a 70-degree angle, stretch out your middle finger and put some pressure on it. You may put pressure on the back of your hand as well, and try to show resistance against the pressure. It means you have fishing elbow if you feel soreness or pain on the exterior part of your elbow after these procedures.
When holding the fishing rod, your elbow takes strokes, meaning that the first inflammation starts like this after a certain number of strokes. When the inflammation reveals itself, you need to start your treatment process however people generally just ignore it. It starts as just a little ache or pain and most fishermen have the mindset to turn a blind eye to it. As you can guess, that’s the exact opposite of what needs to be done.
Most of the professional fishermen have started to use the armbands which resemble the ones commonly used in tennis. These bands help to relieve the stress on the elbow by focusing the stress on the forearm. Some other people use anti-inflammatory medication. Experts say that the armbands can help, but anti-inflammatories should be avoided because they’re just temporary solutions to a long-term problem and may even lead to amplify your injury, like a tear of your tendon since they mask the symptoms.
The best solution is actually resting and applying ice as well as having a massage and stretching your arms and hands. If the pain is not that serious, you should do stretching on the instant. But if it hurts when you stretch, you should wait till the inflammation disappears. The more important thing is to recognize which stretches hurt and which ones make you feel good. By this way, you can avoid the ones that hurt. And of course, activities such as strengthening and stretching your muscles are the best way to prevent fishing elbow at first.
Detailed Information About Tennis Elbow
The medical name of the tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis. The common starting point of the muscles that pull the wrist backward is the area called lateral epicondyle located at the outer side of the elbow.
Tennis elbow is formed as a result of small tears and degeneration in the muscle-bone junction in this region due to repetitive difficulties.
Who May Experience Tennis Elbow?
Although it occurs frequently in racket athletes, the disease can occur in any person who performs repetitive and compelling tasks with the wrist such as fishing. Tennis elbows can be seen in all occupational groups that perform wrist movements for more than 2 hours a day. Tennis elbows often occur, especially in painters, plumbers, carpenters, fishermen and even housewives who do intensive household work. The most common age range is between 30-50 years.
What are the Findings of Tennis Elbow?
The most important finding of the tennis elbow is pain on the bony protrusion on the outer edge of your elbow that spreads to the forearm. Pain is usually increased by lifting the wrist back against resistance. The most typical example of this is a pain in the elbow that extends towards the wrist when lifting a heavy jug or teapot. Pain may be accompanied by weakness in the arm muscles. The event may begin after a single coercive movement or may start 24-72 hours after prolonged coercive activity. The pain was initially low in severity, and if coercive activities persisted, it would gradually increase over the months. In advanced cases, even shaking hands or turning the doorknob can be very painful.
A bad backhand technique is the most important risk factor for tennis players. In addition, the small spot of the racket’s sweet spot, excessive wire tension and the absence of anti-vibration parts increase the risk. The grip of the racket being smaller than the size of the hand, or playing with heavy and wet balls can also lead to tennis elbow. Extreme compelling training and competition periods also increase the risk of injury. Some studies have shown that smoking increases the risk of tennis elbow as well. To avoid the tennis elbow, you must warm up well and do stretching exercises before sports. You should use a racket with proper tension and correct your backhand technique. Your arm muscles should be strong enough and you should apply ice after challenging activities.
How is Tennis Elbow Diagnosed?
Your orthopedic doctor first evaluates the history of the disease, the way it occurs and your sports habits, if any. After examining you, he may ask for x-ray radiographs of the elbow to distinguish any other underlying disease. They are usually sufficient for diagnosis. Magnetic resonance imaging and nerve conduction velocity studies (EMG) may be necessary in very rare cases to differentiate other diseases. If you have a rheumatic disease or a neck hernia, you should inform your doctor about it.
How Tennis Elbow Is Treated?
If your complaints are not very severe, the disease can be calmed by methods such as rest, ice application, and sport interruption. Simple painkillers such as paracetamol (Parol, Tylol) or short-term use of drugs such as Naproxen (Apranax, Naprosyn) and Diclofenac (Voltaren) are useful. It is enough for the tennis players to use the forearm instead of the wrist during the backhand, warm up well and make appropriate changes to the racket. Appropriate exercise and stretching programs that your doctor may recommend may be helpful too.
There are dozens of different bands and elbow pads developed for the treatment of tennis elbow. Their common goal is to reduce the burden on the injured area. They are used when using your arm actively or during sports and should be removed during rest. The bands should be applied not to the painful area, but about 10 cm away from the elbow, at the point that your doctor will point out.
If your tennis elbow complaints persist after four to six weeks of treatment, your doctor will offer different treatment options. One of the methods used for many years is cortisone injection to that area. Unlike regular cortisone medications taken orally, the side effects of regional cortisone needles are minimal. Cortisone needles are effective in reducing pain and swelling in that area. Can be repeated several times if necessary. In recent years, new applications have started in the treatment of tennis elbow. These include shock wave therapy and PRP injections.
What is the Role of Shock Wave Therapy in Tennis Elbow Treatment?
Shock wave therapy was first used to break kidney stones. It acts with high-intensity sound waves applied from outside of the body and focused on a region. Today, it is applied in many different areas of musculoskeletal diseases. One of them is treatment-resistant tennis elbow treatment. The blood flow increases in the shock wave area and the body’s natural healing mechanisms are activated. Several sessions are required.
What is the Role of PRP Treatment in Tennis Elbow Treatment?
PRP (Platelet rich plasma) is a fluid obtained from the person’s own blood and called platelet-rich plasma. 40 ml of blood from the patient is centrifuged with special devices to obtain 2-3 ml of PRP. This liquid contains concentrated amounts of growth and healing factors. These factors activate the body’s natural healing and repair mechanisms. It has been widely used in the treatment of many muscle and tendon injuries in recent years. It is performed in the lateral epicondyle region under sterile conditions. In most cases, a single administration is sufficient, sometimes 2 or 3 PRP injections may be necessary.
Is Surgical Treatment Applied on Tennis Elbow Treatment?
In tennis elbow, 85-90% of patients recover with non-surgical methods. Surgical treatment is necessary for patients who do not resolve the complaints despite medical treatment and injections lasting at least six months.
In surgical treatment, the degenerated tendon in the painful area is separated from the adhesion site, the diseased area is cleaned and the tendon is re-sutured and repaired. After surgical treatment, it may be necessary to apply a plaster cast to immobilize the arm. Return to sports may be possible after 4 to 6 months.