Open Accessibility Menu
Hide

Lateral Epicondylitis

Fox Valley Tennis Elbow Treatment

The elbow joint brings together the upper arm bone (humerus) and the two bones of the forearm (radius and ulna). Tendons, ligaments, and muscles connect and stabilize the elbow, enabling flexible, controlled movement in the versatile joint. Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition resulting from damage to the tendons responsible for connecting muscles on the outside of the elbow.

Cause

Lateral epicondylitis occurs when tendons anchoring forearm muscles to the outside of the elbow degenerate, tear, or sustain injury. As a result of repetitive movements, such as those common to racquet sports, small tears and inflammation can develop, leading to pain and elbow joint weakness.

Although tennis elbow is associated with athletics, participating in sports is not the only cause of the injury. Forearm muscles and tendons can also weaken due to overuse on the job, leading to work-related elbow pain. Laborers, tradespeople and others conducting repetitive physical tasks are prone to tennis elbow. Although it can happen at any age, lateral epicondylitis is most common among active, middle-aged individuals.

Description

The protrusion extending from the bottom of the humerus, on the outside of the elbow, is called the lateral epicondyle. Tendons connecting forearm muscles at the elbow, attach at this point. As these tendons become inflamed or irritated, lateral epicondylitis develops.

Certain forearm muscles, known as wrist extensors, control hand movement and extension. It is overuse of the extensors which strains tendons over time, leading to tennis elbow. In particular, the extensor carpi radials brevis, which helps stabilize the hand when the elbow is straight, is commonly impacted by tennis elbow.

Symptoms

The following symptoms may accompany lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow:

  • Pain begins as mild and slowly worsens over weeks and months
  • Pain or burning on outer part of elbow
  • Weak grip strength
  • Symptoms may worsen with forearm activity

Schedule an appointment today for tennis elbow treatment.