Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)
Lateral epicondylitis, also known as Tennis Elbow, is commonly identified as an inflammatory condition of the wrist extensor/supinator originating at the elbow. Tendonitis is an acute inflammatory response to injury of a tendon, identified by heat, swelling, and pain. In this condition, pain is typically localized to the extensor muscle mass at the elbow.
- Point tenderness at the lateral epicondyle of the elbow
- Pain with forceful/resistive supination and wrist extension (i.e. opening doors, gripping tools/objects, etc.)
- Elbow pain during the nighttime
- Elbow stiffness in the morning
- Weakness in grip
- High intensity occupations or sports (i.e. tennis)
- Forceful, resistive, repetitive forearm supination and wrist extension
- Overuse of elbow or wrist extensors and forearm supinators
If left untreated:
- More damage to tissues/structures of the elbow
- Increased pain
- Decreased function
- Reduced strength
- Neglect of treatment could later result in associated complications, such as radial neuropathy or a need for surgery
Negative effects of Tennis Elbow:
- Decreased ability or inability to participate in meaningful life activities, including work, sports, household activities
- Compensating by using the uninvolved arm leading to overuse and additional issues
- Ergonomic modifications
- Lifestyle changes
- Orthotic support to promote healing and recovery
- Patient education on the healing process and how to prevent future injury
Other helpful information:
As with many conditions, early identification and intervention of lateral epicondylitis improves long-term outcome. Fighting through the pain is not recommended. With a condition like this, rest is of primary importance in the acute state.
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