Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis, as it is known in the medical world, is a repetitive strain injury that affects the muscles and tendons surrounding the elbow. Specifically, this occurs on the outside of your elbow where the muscles of the forearm attach called the lateral epicondyle.
The strain occurs from the repetitive movements associated with contraction of the forearm to straighten or raise your arm, such as a backhand in tennis. Even though the condition is associated with tennis, the condition can affect golfers, butchers, or painters. The pain experienced radiates on the outside of the forearm and elbow and can make it difficult to grip, and movements such as holding a glass, shaking hands, using a knife or toothbrush, or opening jars can be painful.
What are the treatment options for Tennis Elbow?
The condition is usually acute, and is healed with rest, painkillers for pain management. Using a forearm brace is recommended. Physical therapy is a great way to prevent future occurrences. Why? Because the best way to prevent tennis elbow is to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your wrist and forearm, especially if your profession requires repetitive contractions in the forearm. If possible try to switch hands when doing repetitive motions. Additionally, working with and strengthening the muscles in your back, shoulders, and upper arms can also help reduce strain in the lower arms. If you experience pain be sure to see your doctor to get a proper diagnosis before starting any type of treatment and to confirm nothing more serious is occurring.