January 21, 2018

What is lateral epicondylitis?

Why does the outside of my elbow hurt?

What is tennis elbow?

elbow pain
Tennis elbow is a term often used to describe lateral epicondylitis. However, you can get this condition without even stepping foot onto a tennis court. It is a repetitive motion injury that is typically from gripping and repetitive arm movements. It can affect people with many different jobs or hobbies including tennis, weight lifting, baseball, racquetball, carpentry, painting, raking, knitting, and many others.
All of the muscles located on the back side of your forearm originate on the lateral epicondyle (the bony prominence located on the outside of your elbow); therefore, a lot of force is directed to this. There is very little cushion in this area, and the repetitive movements rub the tendons together, causing irritation and tissue damage.
Using the term epicondylitis is a misnomer, as it implies inflammation. The more correct term to use is lateral epicondylosis. This condition is not inflammatory, it is caused by repeated micro-trauma (small scale damage) in the tendon. Your body’s normal healing response often times does not act properly, and this damage accumulates, leading to large scale damage. This is usually when it becomes symptomatic. Common symptoms are tenderness on the lateral epicondyle, pain with lifting objects (typically with your hand in a palm down position), gripping, and straightening the elbow.
To treat these symptoms it is advisable to take a break from the repetitive activity causing the flare up. It is also beneficial to perform wrist extensor stretches every few hours to stretch the muscles and tendons. A wrist extensor stretch is performed with the elbow straight, and passively bending the wrist down towards the floor using your other hand. The main focus of rehabilitation should be to help the tendons heal. There are many treatment methods that can be administered by your physician, or a physical therapist.

H. Tipsord

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