Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow: review the facts on elbow pain and discover relief

What is tennis elbow?
Lateral epicondylitis is commonly referred to as "Tennis Elbow" and indicates that there is inflammation in the tendons of the elbow and forearm muscles.

What is causing this pain in my arm?
The pain may be caused by micro tearing of the tendons in your forearm area due to overuse during activities involving gripping, twisting, pushing, pulling and lifting. Initially, you probably noticed an ache in your forearm and elbow area at the end of your day. You thought the ache would go away, but soon it turned into elbow stiffness with a deep throbbing ache in your forearm. The pain may be affecting your hand and your ability to sleep.

How is it diagnosed and is the damage permanent?
It is fairly easy to diagnose tennis elbow. Your U.S. HealthWorks medical provider can make the determination by evaluating your forearm muscles and the outside area of your elbow. An x-ray will typically not show damage unless the bone in the area is also involved. Most people with tennis elbow get better with rest and physical therapy. In rare cases you may need additional treatment like an injection or surgery.

What can you do to help yourself?
Just as a tennis player makes changes to their game, you can make changes to the way you use your arm.

  • Ask your provider if a wrist or elbow brace would help.
  • Take stretch-exercise breaks every 60 minutes.
  • Apply ice to the area after prolonged use.
  • Take the medicine your doctor prescribed.
  • Consult with your U.S. HealthWorks Physical Therapist for an exercise program that will work for you.

What can you do at work?

  • Use the right equipment. Make sure the tool fits the job.
  • Try to avoid awkward and forceful movements.
  • Maintain neutral wrist postures whenever possible.
  • Reduce repetitive movements by alternating tasks.

Contact your local U.S. HealthWorks physical therapy department for more information on stretching and strengthening the forearm.