Tennis Elbow is an overuse injury occurring on the outside of the elbow region. Its name comes from the fact that movements like the tennis swing, among many others, can inflame the tendons that attach to the bony part of the outer elbow (lateral epicondyle). Repetitive movements that often involve extension of the wrist can lead to this condition, which is caused by microscopic tears in the tendon that connects the upper arm to the muscles of the forearm.
The acute pain that a person might feel with this condition occurs when they fully extend their arm and is typically focused on the outer elbow, but can extend into the forearm and wrist.
The following are symptoms related to Tennis Elbow:
- Pain on the outer part of the elbow
- Tenderness over the bone on the outside of the elbow
- Pain when gripping objects
- Pain when moving the wrist, especially wrist extension and lifting movements
- Pain from activities that use the muscles that extend the wrist (e.g., pouring a container of liquid, lifting with the palm down, sweeping, etc.)
- Morning stiffness
Up to 80% of people with tennis elbow will have relief from symptoms, regardless of treatment between 1 to 1.5 years after symptoms start. As this is often disabling, many patients will seek conservative treatments in the interim such as learning stretching and strengthening exercises with an occupational therapist. There are several other options as well, such as injection therapy, ultrasound guided percutaneous procedures or surgery for those who fail to improve as expected, or who want a more predictable return to pain-free use in a shorter timeframe.
If you are concerned regarding this problem, we can perform a detailed examination, order x-rays and other tests as needed and discuss the options with you and find the option that best suits your needs. Contact us today.