Lateral (meaning away from the midline of the body) epicondylalgia (meaning pain of the epicondyle) is a painful condition on the outer aspect of the elbow. The common name for lateral epicondylalgia is Tennis Elbow, despite the fact that only 5% of the people afflicted with this condition play tennis!
Pain at the elbow may have one or more causes: it could be from the forearm tendons that attach at the outer aspect of the elbow, it could be referred pain from the neck, it could be from one or more of the joints at the elbow, or it may originate from the radial nerve that is in close proximity to the elbow joint.
It often occurs with repetitive use of the arm especially with a clenched fist/grip. Most cases are not due to tennis.
Local tenderness and pain with resisted and passive extension of the wrists is common. Pain often radiates down the forearm from the elbow and ‘tight’ forearm muscles can be experienced.
Activity modification, anti-inflammatory medications, ice, and progressive specific stretching and strengthening will relieve most cases. Often Shortwave Diathermy and Ultrasound are used in conjunction with these treatments to aid recovery. Acupuncture can also be helpful in such cases.
Treatment needs to be varied to your particular case and lifestyle and your Physiotherapist at David Roberts Physiotherapy will work to ensure the best outcome.
Surgery is usually only an option in ’chronic’ longstanding cases (this is un-common). We can assist in post injection and surgery rehabilitation to restore normal movement and strength and prevent recurrence