Your backhand may be suffering, not to mention your relationship with your doubles partner, if you are experiencing what is commonly known as Tennis Elbow, more technically known as Lateral Epicondylitis. Whatever it’s called, it can be painful and annoying. Read on to learn more about this common condition:

Tennis elbow is a condition of inflammation of the tendon (tendinitis) attached to the lateral side or outside of the elbow at the bony prominence – think “funny bone” – of the arm bone (humerus). The muscles which allow wrist and finger motion turn into a tendon which attaches to this area. This bony prominence is called the lateral epicondyle.

Patients with tennis elbow experience pain at the lateral aspect of the elbow, which can radiate into the forearm and occasionally the hand. The pain occurs when grasping and may be accompanied by a sense of weakness. An aching discomfort may also be present when the arm is at rest or at night. Once the tendons are inflamed, it can be difficult to treat because those tendons are used every time the hand grasps, squeezes and grips.

  • Tennis elbow can be caused by sudden injury or trauma but is more often caused by repeated, overloaded activity of the elbow tendons.
  • Symptoms include weakness and/or pain when grasping objects and aches or pain in the elbow area.
  • Tennis elbow is painful and if left untreated, loss of function and motion of the elbow may develop. It rarely results in long-term disability.
  • Treatment often includes modification of activity, ice, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, stretching and strength exercises, braces and, if all else fails, cortisone injections. Surgery is rarely used to treat tennis elbow.

If you are experiencing elbow pain, call to schedule an appointment, today. We will examine your elbow, take x-rays to evaluate the bones and joints of your elbow to determine if you are indeed suffering from tennis elbow.