An Overview of Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
Lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow, is a painful condition marked by inflammation of the tendons that join the muscles of the forearm on the outside of the elbow joint. When athletes and other active individuals are struggling with the symptoms of this elbow condition, a team approach involving elbow specialists and physical therapists is often required for effective treatment. Serving the Dallas, Frisco and Fort Worth, Texas area, the team at Texas Sports Medicine specializes in tennis elbow and is highly trained at returning athletes back to the court.
What is Lateral Epicondylitis?
Lateral epicondylitis is caused when the extensor tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle become inflamed and damaged, typically from overuse. The inflammation and tendon damage affects the outside of the elbow joint.
Tennis elbow is quite common in athletes who participate in tennis, weightlifting and other racquet sports because of the repetitive arm and forearm motions involved in the activities. It is important to note the elbow condition is not always linked to sports. Workers involved in plumbing, painting and gardening are also prone to this condition.
Individuals who use their forearms continuously can reduce the risk of tennis elbow by decreasing sport intensity, utilizing the correct technique and equipment and performing elbow exercises designed to strengthen the joint on a regular basis.
Tennis Elbow Symptoms
Symptoms of lateral epicondylitis develop over time. In most cases, the symptoms begin as a mild annoyance and worsen over weeks and months. Symptoms include:
- Pain on the outside of the elbow that radiates to the forearm and wrist
- Difficulty grasping items
- Weak and/or painful grip