Got Pain on the Outside of Your Elbow?
It Could Be Tennis Elbow…
If you have pain near the bony bump on the outside of your elbow, you may have a condition commonly known as tennis elbow. But don’t let the name fool you – you certainly don’t have to play tennis to develop this painful condition.
Tennis elbow (also known as lateral epicondylitis) is an overuse injury that causes inflammation and microtearing of the tendons that attach your forearm muscles to the outside of your elbow. This tendon damage leads to pain that can spread into your forearm and wrist.
What Causes Tennis Elbow? Tennis elbow often occurs from repetitive motions that strain the elbow tendons over time. Activities like:
- Racquet sports – Especially tennis! The backhand swing puts a lot of stress on the elbow.
- Manual jobs – Painting, carpentry, plumbing, assembly lines.
- Athletic activities – Weightlifting, rock climbing, CrossFit.
But poor technique during many daily activities can also overwork those small elbow tendons and lead to tennis elbow.
Tennis Elbow Symptoms
Telltale signs of tennis elbow include:
- Pain focused on the outer elbow that may radiate into the forearm.
- Discomfort made worse by grasping or gripping objects.
- Stiffness and weakness in the elbow and wrist.
- Tenderness and swelling around the elbow joint.
- Elbow pain during simple tasks like lifting a cup or shaking hands.
Obtaining a Tennis Elbow Diagnosis
If you suspect you have tennis elbow, come see the experts at Boston Orthopaedic and Spine. We’ll examine your elbow, assess your pain and function, and may order imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis. Other causes of elbow pain like arthritis, fractures, and nerve damage will also be ruled out.
Treating Tennis Elbow
Most cases of tennis elbow resolve in 6 months to a year with conservative treatment:
- Rest to allow healing and avoid aggravating activities.
- Icing to reduce inflammation.
- OT to stretch and strengthen the forearm muscles.
- Elbow brace or strap to limit motion.
- Anti-inflammatory medication for pain relief.
- Injections to stimulate healing.
Surgery may be warranted for severe or persistent cases. Our skilled orthopaedic surgeons can perform a minimally invasive procedure to repair the damaged tendon tissue.
If elbow pain is affecting your daily life, don’t wait – call Boston Orthopaedic and Spine today to have your elbow evaluated! Our experts will get you on the road to recovery.