Lateral Epicondylitis

WHAT IS LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS?

Also known as “Tennis Elbow”, lateral epicondylitis is a type of elbow tendinitis in which the tendons of your elbow become tender and sore, causing inflammation and pain in the arm and elbow. It is the chronic or acute inflammation of the tendons joining the muscles of the forearm on the outside of the elbow. Although the condition can pop-up at any age, it is most common among people between the ages of 30 and 40.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS?

The symptoms of lateral epicondylitis include tenderness and pain on the outside of your elbow in the bony knob. This pain may also transfer into the lower or upper arm and is likely to hurt when doing things with your hands like straightening your wrist, raising your hand, shaking hands, opening a door, gripping an object, making a fist, or lifting something.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS?

Lateral Epicondylitis usually develops over time due to repetitive motions like lifting heavy weights, which can put too much stress on the tendons and strain on the muscles. These constant strenuous movements eventually lead to microscopic tears in the tissue, causing lots of pain.

 

The condition may result from sport activities like fencing, squash, racquetball, cricket, and tennis. It can also affect people who have hobbies or jobs that require strong gripping or repetitive strenuous arm movements like knitting, raking, painting, typing, and carpentry.

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS?

The good news about lateral epicondylitis is that is can heal on its own, without requiring heavy medication. All you have to do is give your elbow a break and do what you can to boost the healing process. Some common types of treatment that help reduce pain and speed healing include:

  • Getting physical therapy and exercise to stretch and strengthen the muscles.
  • Having painkillers or injections of steroids for momentarily easing some of the pain and swelling around the elbow joint.
  • Performing numerous motion exercises to increase elbow flexibility and reduce stiffness of joints.
  • Taking Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory (NSAIDs) medication like aspirin, naproxen, or ibuprofen.
  • Using elbow straps for protecting the injured tendon from experiencing further strain.
  • Icing the elbow regularly to reduce swelling and pain.
  • One of the newest options is regenerative medicine treatment with PRP therapy (platelet rich plasma) or stem cell procedures.