Tennis Elbow – Lateral Epicondylitis

Dr. Jeb Cormier

Lateral Epicondylitis is defined as the inflammation around the lateral epicondyle. Commonly known as, tennis elbow, lateral epicondylitis generates inflammation of the epicondyle causing soreness and sensitivity to the elbow.  Simple activities that require continuous extending motion from the forearm can generate this diagnosis.

Causes

Repeated extension while performing certain actions can cause stress to the extensor carpi radialis tendon, which can then cause swelling around the lateral epicondyle. Performing activities like: playing tennis, throwing a baseball, playing a string instrument, performing manual labor, or something as simple as gardening.  Playing racquet sports increase your chance of being diagnosed with tennis elbow, especially for beginning players.

Symptoms

Someone may experience different levels of pain and soreness around the elbow. Level of pain depends on the situation and seriousness of the injury. It can be as simple as small, sharp pains to excruciating pain ranging from the elbow to the forearm.

Treatment

Depending on the seriousness of the injury, tennis elbow can eventually heal itself; however this injury has been known to linger for months.  Simple therapeutic treatments can reduce pain stemming from tennis elbow.  Ice packs wrapped in towels, pressed directly against the inflamed area around the elbow can help with swelling and pain. Ultimately the cease & desist of all activities that cause tennis elbow will allow the tendon to repair itself until full recovery.

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