Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a common condition characterised by pain and inflammation on the outer side of the elbow. Despite its name, tennis elbow can occur in individuals who don’t play tennis. It is caused by repetitive or strenuous activities that involve gripping, twisting, or lifting motions of the forearm and wrist.
The primary cause of tennis elbow is overuse or repetitive stress on the tendons that attach to the bony prominence (lateral epicondyle) on the outer side of the elbow. This repetitive stress leads to microscopic tears in the tendon and subsequent inflammation.
Common symptoms of tennis elbow include:
- Pain or tenderness on the outer side of the elbow, which may radiate down the forearm.
- Weakness in the affected arm.
- Difficulty in gripping or lifting objects, particularly with the wrist extended.
- Pain worsens with activities that involve gripping, twisting, or lifting motions.
Tennis elbow is typically diagnosed based on a physical examination and medical history. Imaging tests like X-rays or MRI scans may be ordered to rule out other potential causes of elbow pain.
Elbow pain can be caused by a variety of factors, such as lateral epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) commonly causes pain and inflammation on the outer side of the elbow
Treatment for tennis elbow usually involves a combination of conservative measures, including:
- Resting the affected arm and avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain.
- Applying ice packs to the elbow to reduce inflammation.
- Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to alleviate pain and swelling.
- Wearing an elbow splint (counterforce brace) to provide support and reduce strain on the tendon.
- Physical therapy exercises to strengthen the forearm muscles and improve flexibility.
- Corticosteroid injections may be considered in severe cases to reduce inflammation and pain.
In most cases, tennis elbow improves with conservative treatment within several weeks to a few months. However, if symptoms persist or become severe surgery may be considered.
Get Expert Help
If you have elbow pain, it is important to get your elbow evaluated and to perform appropriate diagnostic tests. Dr. Arthur Turow will provide expert assessment of your elbow and recommend a tailored treatment for your specific circumstances to help you achieve the best outcome.
Please use above information as a guide only. More detailed information specific to your condition and your recovery will be given in your consultation with Dr. Arthur Turow, who will also provide additional resources to supplement your discussion. For more information, please contact the rooms of Dr. Arthur Turow on (08) 8236 4179.