Tennis Elbow or ‘lateral epicondylitis’ represents an overuse injury of the tendon attachment to the outer aspect of the elbow. More specifically this occurs at the common extensor tendon attachment to the lateral epicondyle. This condition has a wide variety of causes, including activities associated with daily living and sports.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to developing Tennis Elbow. The most common cases are due to overuse, or as a result of a muscle strain injury. This is due to repeated motions of stress to the tissue area that creates small tears in the tendon. These tears produce discomfort and an aching sensation on the outside of the elbow. Repetitive activities and motions used in sports like tennis, or everyday activities such as using a computer mouse, trade tools, or cutting and cooking can also be a contributing factor.
There are several risk factors associated with developing Tennis Elbow, these include:
Acute pain, or grumbling background discomfort are the most common symptoms of Tennis Elbow to look out for. Sometimes, patients can also experience associated weakness in grip strength (e.g picking up a glass of water), which is caused by the degeneration of the tendon through microscopic tears. When experiencing these symptoms, it is a clear indication that treatment is required, as there are often larger tears present.
There are a number of different treatment options that relieve pain as well as strengthen the tendon. This can include exercises to improve strength, soft and deep tissue massage to the affected area, and advice on how to improve work or sport related tasks to reduce pain.
No, Tennis Elbow and golfers’ elbow are two different forms of epicondylitis. Tennis Elbow affects the outside of the epicondyle, whilst Golfer’s Elbow affects the medial/inside of the epicondyle.
There are cases where Tennis Elbow can get better on its own without treatment. However, the exact timeframe for the healing process can last anywhere between 6 months and 2 years.
The treatment session with Dr.Ivor Berman may involve a discussion about your symptoms and previous medical history. This may also include an assessment of the activities or tasks that have contributed to causing the overall problem, as well as ways to help remediate symptoms.
Depending on many factors a treatment plan may be provided. This would include the best way of managing and treating the condition. This may include physiotherapy or various treatment options depending on the presentation. If treatment is warranted, this may be performed on the day or at a more appropriate time.