I seem to have had a rush of tennis elbow recently in the clinic. Since it is on the forefront of my mind while caring for my patients, I thought I'd share a few tidbits on it.
Usually tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is very easy to diagnose. Pain is usually present to the outside of the elbow or upper forearm over the area where the outside forearm muscles converge towards the bony prominence on the outside of the elbow area. There is almost always point tenderness to an area about the size of a quarter or less with continued lesser soreness down further into the muscle. Stretching the muscle by bending your hand down from a palm down start position can be painful. Resisted wrist extension and particularly middle finger extension (bringing wrists up from palm down position) are predictably painful.
In my experience, tennis elbow rarely causes symptoms into the upper arm above the elbow or down into the hand below the wrist.
Tennis elbow is a repetitive trauma or overuse type injury. The best course of initial treatment includes rest and ice. Depending on your occupation or sport, rest can be hard to come by as even using a mouse or keyboard can make symptoms worse. If you have such symptoms and they don't resolve in a week or two with rest and ice, seek advise from your physician, physical therapist or athletic trainer.
Posted 2:21 PM