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Tennis elbow not new among cricketers, say experts

Tennis elbow has been enjoying the spot light following ace cricketer Sachin Tendulkar's and several other players complaining about the condition. However, the condition is not uncommon in the sports arena//.

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis as it is called in medical parlance, is an affliction where the outer part of the elbow becomes painful and tender, usually as a result of a specific strain, overuse or a direct bang. The problem occurs following overuse of the arm due to constant and repetitive action, and becomes worse when the condition is ignored.

Skipper Sourav Ganguly's brief departure from the nation's favourite sport due to a mild tennis elbow symptom has put the focus back on the ailment that has been a long-standing curse on sportspersons and others alike.

Kinjal Suratwala, an eminent sports-physiotherapist who has been associated with the India-A team, says, "There may have been symptoms, which were largely ignored. But after Sachin's case, people have become more aware and are being more cautious. " Furthermore, he reflected on the fact that the condition cannot be ignored in sportsmen because of the necessity for a 110 % physical fitness.

"The problem can occur in anyone who is involved in a regular cyclical physical action with his arms. So I do not think it is a new problem among cricketers. There are some strong bands of tissues called tendons that connect our muscles to our bones. Due to overuse and strain these tendons get swollen and cause pain," said fitness consultant Rajesh Parikh.

The condition is also seen more among tennis players, especially those who have a poor backhand shot, in which they apply more power on their wrists than their shoulders. Housemaids are the other group of people who frequently face the problem.

Physiotherapy, which may include heat or ultrasound therapy, use of anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers and administration of steroids are some of the methods used to deal with the problem. Recovery from the ailment can take anywhere between three weeks to a year during which the patient is best advised to abstain from the particular repetitive action.

Source: Indo-Asian News Service

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