Healthy Living: What is Tennis Elbow?

Healthy Living: What is Tennis Elbow?

Your elbow is consistently giving you pains and someone suggests that you might have “tennis elbow.” But wait, you don’t play tennis, so how is that possible? Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition of the elbow caused by overuse. So, maybe tennis isn’t your sport, but overuse of the elbow from other sports or activities put you at a higher risk. It has been suggested that those who spend most of their day at a computer or doing something repetitive for long periods of time can suffer from tennis elbow, too.

Those who suffer from tennis elbow can expect inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow. These muscles and tendons are damaged because of overuse of the same motion continuously. The symptoms of tennis elbow develop gradually over time, due to wear and tear. There is usually no specific injury associated with the start of symptoms, and the pain begins mildly/slowly and gets worse over the following weeks and months. Common symptoms and signs of tennis elbow include:

  • Pain on the outer part of your elbow
  • Burning sensation on the outer part of your elbow
  • Weakened grip strength

While you might be suffering from pain and tenderness on your elbow, there are many treatment options available. Your PCP or a sports medicine specialist can provide early treatment. However, if conservative treatment does not work, an orthopedic surgeon may need to perform surgery.  80-95% of people have success with non-surgical treatment.

To schedule an appointment with your PCP or our sports medicine team, visit www.IRMCdocs.org or call 888-452-IRMC (4762).

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