What is LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS (TENNIS ELBOW)?

Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis can consist of the following symptoms:

  • Pain from the outer elbow to the back of the wrist.

  • Numbness and/or tingling at the back of the hand.

  • Pain and difficulty gripping and reaching

  • Easily fatigued with involved arm

Lateral epicondylitis has two primary presentations:

  • Tendonitis is a direct injury to the tendon where inflammation (swelling) causes symptoms.

  • Tendinosis is a chronic condition that can cause micro tears which decreases the integrity of the elbow tendons.  

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COMMON CAUSES OF tennis elbow

Repetitive stress: Wear and tear of the tendons from work-related tasks

Repetitive stress: Wear and tear of the tendons from work-related tasks

Over exertion: Sudden or gradual pain from sports or heavy-level activity.

Over exertion: Sudden or gradual pain from sports or heavy-level activity.

Age: Tendon integrity degrades with age, causing susceptibility to tears

Age: Tendon integrity degrades with age, causing susceptibility to tears

Injury Prevention:

  • Avoid repetitive wrist bending and forearm rotation

  • Avoid forceful gripping

  • Avoid any lift, push, or pull activities with the elbow extended

  • Lift close to the body and with both arms

  • Minimize or slow down repetitive activity and rest arm frequently

  • Use a light grip on tools, pens, or mouse

  • Position the mouse close to the body

  • Use enlarged grips with tools or kitchen gadgets

How hand therapy can help:

  • Symptom management techniques to reduce discomfort

  • Modalities to facilitate the healing process

  • Orthotics to provide support and prevent symptom aggravation

  • Education on body awareness, detecting body cues, and proper posture/positioning

  • Recommendations for ergonomic equipment

  • Injury specific strengthening program to increase strength and restore function

Are you experiencing any of these symptoms? Contact us today to schedule an evaluation.