Tennis Elbow and How it’s Treated
- Posted on: Dec 21 2017
Lateral epicondylitis, also known as “tennis elbow”, is a very common injury to the outside of the elbow. This pain is often caused by inflammation or injury to the wrist extensor muscle tendon which originates at the lateral epicondyle. This injury is not only common in tennis players, but also in anyone who repetitively contracts wrist extensors such as when hammering a nail, turning a screwdriver, or painting. Overuse of the wrist extensor muscles or improper technique of activities using these muscles is the most likely cause.
Symptoms may include pain near the outside of the elbow or traveling down the forearm. Furthermore, it can cause weakness when lifting or gripping objects making daily living difficult. The injury can be acute, meaning it occurs directly following an activity, or chronic, which develops over a period of days or weeks.
Tennis elbow can be diagnosed through tests by your physical therapist or by imaging at your doctor’s office.
Treatment for tennis elbow will first start with rest and ice. Giving time for the tendon to rest and heal is always the first step to recovery. Stretching the wrist extensors is a good way to begin a workout. Gentle exercises such as gripping theraputty or repetitively opening fingers against the resistance of a rubber band are good ways to strengthen the weak muscles in the forearm and promote healing. Massage to the wrist extensor muscles can help reduce the painful symptoms that accompany lateral epicondylitis. Ultrasound is also a common remedy that decreases pain, muscle spasms, and promotes healing through the use of soundwaves.
Thought, lateral epicondylitis is a painful condition, it is easily managed through many treatment options at our physical therapy. If you think you’re suffered from this condition, set up your consult today!