Can Gardening Cause Tennis Elbow? The Truth Revealed

can gardening cause tennis elbow

Gardening is a rewarding hobby that can provide you with fresh air, exercise, and healthy produce. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential health risks associated with certain gardening activities, especially if you have underlying medical conditions or prior injuries.

One of the most common gardening-related injuries is tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis. This condition is characterized by pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow, and it can be caused by repetitive wrist and forearm movements, such as those involved in digging, weeding, and pruning.

What Is Tennis Elbow and What Causes It?

Causes of Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is caused by overuse of the muscles that extend the wrist and fingers. These muscles attach to the outside of the elbow, and when they are overworked, they can become inflamed and painful.

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

The most common symptom of tennis elbow is pain on the outside of the elbow. The pain may be worse when you extend your wrist or grip an object. You may also experience tenderness, stiffness, and swelling in the elbow.

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How Gardening Can Contribute to Tennis Elbow

Gardening Activities That Can Cause Tennis Elbow

Certain gardening activities can put you at risk for developing tennis elbow. These activities include:

1. Digging

Digging involves repetitive wrist and forearm movements that can strain the muscles that extend the wrist and fingers.

2. Weeding

Weeding also involves repetitive wrist and forearm movements, especially if you are using a hand tool to dig up weeds.

3. Pruning

Pruning involves using shears or clippers to cut branches, which can strain the muscles that extend the wrist and fingers.

4. Other Gardening Activities

Other gardening activities that can contribute to tennis elbow include raking, hoeing, and shoveling.

Preventing Tennis Elbow in the Garden

Use Proper Technique

Using proper technique when gardening can help to reduce your risk of developing tennis elbow. This includes:

1. Digging

When digging, keep your wrist straight and use your whole arm to lift the shovel.

2. Weeding

When weeding, use a long-handled tool to avoid bending your wrist.

3. Pruning

When pruning, use shears or clippers that are the right size for your hand and use a light grip.

4. Other Tips

Take breaks throughout the day to rest your muscles.
Warm up before starting any gardening activity.
Use a brace or support to help protect your elbow.

Treating Tennis Elbow from Gardening

Treatment for Tennis Elbow

If you have developed tennis elbow from gardening, there are a number of treatments that can help to relieve your pain and speed up your recovery. These treatments include:

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1. Rest

Resting your elbow is the most important thing you can do to treat tennis elbow. Avoid activities that aggravate your pain.

2. Ice

Applying ice to your elbow can help to reduce inflammation and pain.

3. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help to strengthen the muscles around your elbow and improve your range of motion.

4. Bracing

Wearing a brace or support can help to protect your elbow and reduce pain.

5. Surgery

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat severe cases of tennis elbow.

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