You don’t have to be an expert tennis player to develop tennis elbow. Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition caused by overuse of the forearm and wrist muscles that results in elbow pain. It has been classically described as the motion involved with a backhand shot in tennis, but is typically caused by normal daily activities which involve repetitive extension of the wrist. Tennis elbow may also occur suddenly while lifting heavy weight or when the wrist and forearm are abruptly stopped during motion. In severe cases, the tennis elbow tendon can be torn.
Treatment for tennis elbow usually begins with conservative management consisting of rest, anti-inflammatories and bracing. Injections and physical therapy may also be recommended. In cases when conservative management fails or tendon tear occurs, surgery may be considered.
Tennis elbow signs and symptoms
- Pain at the outer elbow with use of the wrist
- Morning stiffness of the elbow with persistent aching
- Pain when lifting or bending your arm
- Soreness in the forearm
- Pain when writing, grasping or holding an object