Tennis Elbow - Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options
WHAT IS TENNIS ELBOW?
Tennis elbow (or "lateral epicondylitis,") is an inflammation around the bony knob on the outer side of the elbow. This occurs when the tissue that attaches muscle to the bone becomes inflamed or irritated. The bony knob is called the lateral epicondyle.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?
Overuse - A variety of racket sports or activities such as twisting a screwdriver or lifting heavy objects with your palm down can cause tennis elbow. Anything that involves extending your wrist or rotating your forearm. Overuse or any non-work and work related activities that places stress on the tendon attachments, through stress on the extensor muscle-tendon unit, increases the strain on the tendon. Stress can be caused by “repetitive” gripping and grasping activities, i.e. meat-cutting, plumbing, painting, weaving, etc.
Trauma – A sudden extreme action, force, or activity could injure the tendon as well as a direct blow to the elbow resulting in swelling of the tendon that can lead to degeneration.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The primary reason people seek medical evaluation is pain that usually starts at the outer-side of the elbow and tends to travel down the forearm to the hand. You may experience pain all the time or only `when you lift things. Another symptom is swelling of the elbow along with redness & feeling warm to the touch. It may also hurt to grip things, turn your hand, or swing your arm. Occasionally, any motion
of the elbow can be painful.
Depending on the severity, treatment for "Tennis Elbow" can range from conservative (non-surgical) to possible surgery if pain is incapacitating and not responding to conservative care. Some conservative treatments include:
Bracing the elbow
If you think you may be experiencing Tennis Elbow, or any conditions of the hand, wrist, elbow, or shoulder, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Sagini by calling (239) 337-2003.