Can sewing cause tennis elbow?

Sewing is an activity which involves a lot of body movements especially when it comes to hands and arms. This intense movement can lead to pain and issues in some cases therefore, knowing safety precautions in sewing is important. You need to look at the situation because it may look normal at first but it can become a big problem as well.

The good thing is that almost all pain and issues that may be caused because of sewing can be prevented if you do the process with the right technique. One such issue is tennis elbow but the question is, can sewing actually cause tennis elbow? Well, we will discuss this topic right in the section below.

Can sewing cause tennis elbow

We will also go through the symptoms as well as remedies and surgical treatments to heal tennis elbow.

In the end, we listed a few tips that can help you prevent tennis elbow in the future. Let’s get started with the basic definition of what tennis elbow is and then move onto covering all its related facts and factors in each new section.

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow, known as lateral epicondylitis in the clinical world, is a condition where you feel alot of pain on the outside of the elbow. It is just like you have worn a ring of pain around your elbow.

What causes tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow can be caused due to many reasons but the core cause is using the same action with your elbow for multiple and a long time. The muscles near the elbow bending and around the forearm get stretched and affected due to overuse which results in a pain and this condition leads to tennis elbow in the long run.

Can sewing cause elbow pain?

If you are using a traditional sewing machine or the one with a handwheel, you will have to use your arms, wrists, and elbow on a repetitive look.

It is necessary to spin the handle at high speed so that you can feed more fabric in less time and get the job done quickly. This thing can result in tennis elbow, however, the probability is too low.

Also, tennis elbow usually occurs when you are starting to sew or sewing after a long break. Because if you do it very often, the muscles get used to it and doesn’t gets affected even if you sew for a whole day. This is just like the pain caused on your first day at the gym.

What can be mistaken for a tennis elbow?

There are two injuries (tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow) caused because of the same repetitive actions, over usage of elbow muscles, and too much motions of your arms, elbow, and wrists.

People usually get confused when they feel pain in their elbow and mistake golfer’s elbow with tennis elbow.

The major difference is that tennis elbow causes pain around the elbow joint while golfer’ elbow pain can spread through the forearm while affecting the wrist and hands as well.

How to tell if it’s tennis elbow or some other condition?

This severe condition of tennis elbow can only be diagnosed by running a few physical tests. You cannot simply tell that it’s a tennis elbow because you’re feeling pain around your elbow joint muscle. Major tests to diagnose tennis elbow include the following.

1. X-Ray

Get an X-Ray of your elbow to see if the bones and muscles are fine. If you actually have a tennis elbow, you will notice arthritis around the muscles or under the joint of your elbow.

2. MRI

MRI also known as Magnetic Resonance Imaging, will help you determine if there are tendons around your elbow joint. MRI will also help determine how severe your elbow muscles are.

3. EMG

EMG stands for Electromyography. This physical test is great to analyze the nerves in your elbow and see if they are fine or look affected which can be a cause of the pain.

Should you massage tennis elbow?

Massaging is great as it eases the elbow’s tissues which helps the tennis elbow to heal in a quick manner. Massaging will increase the blood flow while providing heat to the muscles as well. All these things combined can make a big contribution in healing tennis elbow.

What are symptoms of tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow: Signs and symptoms and treatment of the common elbow injury

There are not many symptoms of tennis elbow because pain is probably the only thing you feel while other things like arthritis and nerve problems can only be seen after running a clinical test. The major symptoms include:

  • Pain around the elbow joint
  • Tenderness in the bony knob around the elbow. 
  • Burning ache.
  • Soft pain in the upper or lower arm.
  • A stretchy pain while using hands to move fabric.
  • May feel pain while using wrists to grip objects like scissors, needles, and thread.
  • Severe pain when lifting heavy items like chairs or swing tables.

Why do tennis elbows last so long?

Elbow is a part of the body that moves a lot but we only realize it when we are experiencing tennis elbow. In this condition, muscles can get wollen, tendons can grow, and arthritis can appear and all these things take a lot of time to heal and get to the perfect position as it was before.

How to heal tennis elbow after sewing?

Tennis elbow can be healed by changing lifestyle, home remedies, and in worse cases, surgeries as well. Let’s start with home remedies and then move on to the next surgical and clinical treatments.

Easy home remedies to heal tennis elbow

The best thing you can do is to change your lifestyle habits and use some home remedies as soon as you start experiencing tennis elbow.

  • Take Rest: Stop doing activities that involve intense elbow, hand, arm, and wrist movements.
  • Apply Ice: Apply ice all around your elbow and specially on places where there is pain or swelling.
  • Follow Proper Technique: Even if you do gentle activities, you should n’t just put your hand and lifting instead, use proper technique where you feel less pressure in your elbow.
  • Take Ache Relievers: Take tablets or syrup to get rid of severe pain. Some effective ache relievers include ibuprofen and naproxen.

Surgical ways of healing tennis elbow

Surgery is probably the last option and  you should only move to this option when no other treatments are working for you. The three major surgical or clinical treatments include:

  • Injections of botox and platelet rich plasma in tendons
  • TENEX procedure
  • Ultrasonic tenotomy
  • Surgery (this options should be considered when tennis elbow is not healing even after 12 months)

What exercises help heal tennis elbow after sewing?

Exercises are great to heal tennis elbow as they don’t require any risky procedure and get you to the other end efficiently as well. The only thing used to make sure that you don’t perform any exercise with wrong technique as it may make things even worse.

Below are some exercises and techniques that can help you out in healing tennis elbow.

  • Wrist turn
  • Wrist turn with small weight
  • Wrist lift
  • Palm up
  • Bending elbow
  • Wrist extensor stretch
  • Wrist extensor flex
  • Fist squeeze

Do you lift weights with a tennis elbow?

Lifting weight can enhance the blood circulation in your arm and elbow which speeds up the process of healing the tennis elbow.

Lifting gentle weights will reduce the strain while making the tendons and muscles strong to minimize the pain and eventually wipe it off completely.

Should you wrap the tennis elbow?

Putting a warm wrap around your elbow joints and muscles can minimize the discomfort and stress on your elbow which eases pain. Doing so will also reduce the inflammation and with the decrease in swelling, the pain will also start to go away.

Should you stretch with a tennis elbow?

Stretching may cause pain but if you do it after a round of sewing, it can prevent causes that lead to tennis elbow. The thing is that if you give a bit of rest and do gentle exercise, you can completely get rid of the pain while reducing the probability of getting a tennis elbow to almost zero.

What body movements should be avoided with tennis elbow?

Although exercises are good to ease tennis elbow, some body movements should be avoided as they put too much pressure on the elbow and may even make the issue even worse. Some prohibited movements include:

  • Chin-ups
  • Pushups
  • Bench presses
  • Forearm dumbbell curls
  • Barbell extensions
  • Planks
  • Playing extensive sports like tennis or cricket

How to prevent tennis elbow while sewing?

  • Give rests to your elbow after every round of sewing.
  • Place the elbow on the sewing table in a way that you move the handwheel with wrists with minimum use of the elbow.
  • Do regular exercise including elbow, wrists, and arms.
  • Consult a doctor even if you are feeling minor pain in the elbow as it is the best time to prevent tennis elbow.
  • Rest the elbow and arm on the swing table as much as you can.
  • Apply ice or take pain relievers when feeling pain or swollen muscles.

Does heat heal tennis elbow?

Yes, heat is great in healing tennis elbow as it promete the blood connection which eases the swelling and makes muscles relax more. Heat exposure also expands the muscles which give space to arthritis and tendons to heal quickly while reducing your pain as well.


Can you see tennis elbow in X-Ray?

You cannot directly see whether you have a tennis elbow by running an X-Ray test but this can help you indicate other things that can be symptoms of tennis elbow. One such thing is arthritis because if you see this thing in the elbow, it is a clear indication that you should start treatment whether in the form of exercise, home remedies, or medications.

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