Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

Tennis elbow is a condition of the elbow that is characterized by pain in the outer part of the elbow. This condition got its name from the famous move of tennis play called the back hand. This happens because the point of insertion of the tendon on the outer elbow gets very inflamed.

While the name of the condition is derived from tennis, the condition can be caused by pretty much any repetitive activity that strains the elbow, and consequently, most patients with it actually have not developed it from playing tennis at all.

Symptoms of the tennis elbow are most commonly increased sensitivity of the outer elbow as well as a dull pain sensation in the outer elbow. More symptoms include feelings of tension and impairment in the elbow. Usually there are no noticeable physical changes to the elbow with this condition like discoloration or severe swelling.

Tennis elbow is usually diagnosed without any radiology testing.

Treatment of tennis elbow is usually taking measures in order to eliminate the source of inflammation of the elbow. Physical therapy has been very successful and effective in treatment of the tennis elbow. In more severe cases, a cortisone shot can be given to treat the condition. When all other measures have been fully exhausted, surgery is considered.

Key Points:

  • 1Tennis elbow is not only from playing tennis, but also many repetitive activities that strain the elbow.
  • 2Testing is not needed for diagnosis, doctors can diagnose tennis elbow with repetitive outer elbow pain and tenderness along with recent repetitive-use injuries.
  • 3Treatment for tennis elbow is relaxation, cold packs and anti-inflammatory medication.

Exercises that strengthen the involved muscles can be helpful to avoid a reoccurrence once symptoms have disappeared.

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