What Is Lateral Epicondylitis?
Lateral epicondylitis, commonly called tennis elbow, is an inflammation of the tendons that connect the muscles of the forearm to the elbow. This occurs as a result of the overuse of these muscles and tendons. The pain is primarily felt at the lateral epicondyle, the bony bump on the outer side of the elbow.
What Causes Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow may occur in individuals who participate in certain athletic activities. It also may occur in people who have jobs that involve repetitive motions of the wrist and arm. The stress placed on the forearm by a tennis backstroke is a common culprit. This stress causes tiny tears to develop in one or more extensor tendons. This results in inflammation and pain.
Symptoms Of Tennis Elbow
The pain from tennis elbow may occur when performing simple tasks such as turning a doorknob or shaking hands. This condition typically has the following symptoms:
- Forearm weakness
- Pain when the wrist is extended
- Pain from the outside of the elbow into the forearm and wrist
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Treatment For Lateral Epicondylitis
The initial pain caused by tennis elbow can often be managed with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications. In many cases, lateral epicondylitis heals on its own.
In cases where tennis elbow doesn’t respond to conservative measures, additional treatment may include:
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
- PRP injections
- Forearm brace or wrist split
If you have a severe, persistent case of tennis elbow, it may require surgery. Surgical procedures may be performed to remove damaged tissue, remove bone spurs or to split the tendons to alleviate pressure.