Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis
Tennis elbow is a condition in which the outer part of the elbow(lateral epicondyle) becomes painful, sore and tender. This is due to the forearm muscles and tendons become inflamed and damaged from repetitive overuse. As a result, this leads to pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow joint.
Consequently, any activity that involves repetitive use of the outer muscles of the forearm can cause an acute or chronic problem. Tennis elbow is, therefore, more common for tennis and squash players. It is also common in carpenters and laborers who swing a hammer or other tool with the forearm. Finally, Tennis elbow is similar to golfers elbow, which affects the medial epicondyle on the inside of the elbow.
Signs and Symptoms
Pain on the outer part of the elbow (lateral epicondyle) is felt most commonly. There is usually Point tenderness over the lateral epicondyle. This is the prominent part of the bone on the outside of the elbow.
Gripping can cause pain, especially wrist extension (like revving a bike) and lifting movements e.g. a kettle. The forearm and wrist can also feel weak and painful when lifting a kettle, shaking hands, opening doors. Symptoms can also radiate from the elbow into the forearm muscles.
Because the pain of tennis elbow can be quite severe and the area prone to repeated injury, treatment needs to include many factors. Pain-relieving creams and gels, therefore, can be helpful as well as oral pain relief. Supports can also help. The therapist’s treatment focuses on understanding the way the area was injured(injury mechanism) and then has adapted to the particular injury. This is then what is treated. It is rather like reverse engineering of a problem.
Typically the therapist treats the arm and hand, and then the shoulder and upper back and neck. On occasion, the other shoulder and arm may need to be looked treated. This may also include the lower back and pelvis. In conclusion, the best thing to do is look at the whole body.
Prevention of Tennis Elbow
Finally, you may need regular stretching of the area and use an elbow support. It is useful for you to look at the way you play your sports or sporting technique with a coach. Even racquet handle size should be checked. You may look at a support for the elbow when playing you sport. Another factor to look at is the length of time and the frequency of particular activities.
Related to tennis elbow is golfers elbow which is pain on in inside of the elbow joint.