Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) is an overuse injury to the outside of the elbow. It is the inflammation of the common wrist extensor tendon at its attachment to the outer elbow (lateral epicondyle).
Tennis Elbow is a common condition that is present in 40% of tennis players and 15% of people working in repetitive manual trades. Sufferers are generally aged between 35-50 years however it can occur at any age.
Pain with gripping tasks or resisted finger/wrist extension
Pain can be reproduced when the wrist extensor muscles are stretched
Tenderness over the bony epicondyles
Possible trigger points in the forearm muscles
Tennis elbow is the result of repeated bending and twisting movements of the arm. It occurs when more force is applied to the tissue than it can comfortably handle.
Common causes include:
Unaccustomed hand use, eg painting, hammering, excessive typing
Excessive gripping activities
Poor technique (eg tennis shot) Poor forearm muscle strength
Common Management Techniques
Massage and releases
Heat or ice
Autologous blood injections
Daily ice massage will help—fill a paper cup with water and freeze. Peel the top of the cup away to expose the ice and rub over the affected area in a circular motion for 5–7 minutes.
Modification of the activity that caused the problem and rest will help.
After one year, 8 out of 10 people with tennis elbow will have improvement or symptoms that have got better, whether they have treatment or not. Symptoms usually last between 6 and 24 months. In rare cases some people may require surgery. Physiotherapy treatment, as well as home exercises can hasten your recovery.