Much of the population knows little about elbow injury. This article is going to discuss one specific condition local to the elbow known as tennis elbow, or more specifically, “lateral epicondylitis.” And here’s something that might surprise you, tennis elbow is not restricted only to those of us who play tennis! Mind-blowing, I know.
So what is tennis elbow and how do I know if I have it? Well, the condition is an overuse injury that is caused when there is tendon damage that manifests as pain around the outside of the elbow. This damage leads to difficulty with wrist movements and forearm rotation, limiting day-to-day activities due to pain. The majority of injury typically occurs during wrist extension (approximating the back of the knuckles to the elbow) and twisting, which we see much of in racquet sports, particularly tennis. However, we commonly see these types of injuries in those who work at a computer, on industrial machinery, or in various athletes. Occasionally, tennis elbow can be initiated by an abrupt blow to the elbow.
I think I have lateral epicondylitis, what should I do about it?
It’s important to first decrease the pain and inflammation in the area, which can be achieved through ice, rest and/or pain or anti-inflammatory medication. Once stabilized, it is important to be evaluated by a qualified provider who can isolate weaknesses, overcompensations, and joint restriction; and can provide a plan to rehab these accordingly. It’s pivotal to identify movements that have caused the condition in the first place, so that these can be avoided at all costs. Lastly, make sure that you’re working with a group of rehab providers that have a good-standing relationship with a physical medicine doctor. If rehab is not enough then pain management, regenerative treatments and cutting edge TENEX procedures have great outcomes.
Hopefully, this has added some insight into what exactly tennis elbow is and what can be done for a speedy recovery. If you have any questions, feel free to call or email our office to setup a consultation.