Lateral epicondylitis, more commonly known as tennis elbow, is a condition that is caused by overuse or chronic degeneration of the tendons. Although playing tennis or racquetball can lead to tennis elbow, if often occurs with other sports or due to chronic degeneration.
Tendons are fibrous tissue bands that connect muscles and bones. Performing repetitive motions with your arms or hands, such as playing sports, can lead to lateral epicondylitis. This happens due to degeneration in the tendons.
Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook
Symptoms of tennis elbow include:
Pain on the side of the elbow
Problems holding, turning or gripping objects
Weakness in the arm or hand
Your doctor will start the diagnosis process by taking your medical history and doing a physical exam. You may also obtain X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans.
Treatment for tennis elbow may include:
Ice for the elbow
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Ultrasonic tenotomy (TENEX procedure)
Lateral epicondylitis may resolve on its own with minimal treatments such as ice, rest and physical therapy stretches and exercises. If the pain continues and affects your activities, you should seek evaluation for other treatment options.
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