Tennis elbow requires medical attention as soon as symptoms appear. Early attention usually prevents the development of a serious disorder.
Tennis elbow brings discomfort, pain, and risk of chronic disorder, if not dealt with properly and on time. Treatment for the disorder can sometimes last for several weeks or months and can be costly. So prevention is the most important means to reduce or control its occurrence at the workplace.
Prevention of Tennis elbow requires:
- General awareness of the disorder and how it can relate to activities at work.
- Prompt action to deal with risk factors and eliminate them before the disorder develops.
- Tasks associated with Tennis elbow should be identified and modified to reduce the risk of serious injury.
- Avoid tasks that place excessive force, stress, or strain on muscles of the forearm.
However, keeping in mind that Tennis elbow is just one of several different disorders caused by repetitive work is important. Prevention programs cannot be effective if they deal with only one part of the arm and neglect the hands, wrists, shoulders, neck or back, so some exercise and movements should be done for all parts.
Proper job design is the best way to avoid repetitive patterns of work. Ways to avoid repetition include:
- Use of machines to mechanize repetitive work
- Rotation of work, to enable workers to use different sets of muscles in their job
- Enrichment, to improve quality of work
- Teamwork, where the work load is divided among the workers
Other aspects of prevention include:
- Proper workplace for the worker
- Design of tools and equipment to decrease the force needed for the job
- Proper work practice based on education and training
- The choice of tools and equipments can also be helpful. They should be light in weight and should be handy
- A worker must not bend the wrist. He should do smooth movements rather than jerky ones. He should change the position as and when needed. He must give rest to the body parts, and relax his mind.