Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a condition that causes pain around the outside of the elbow.
It often occurs because of strenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm, near the elbow joint. Symptoms include: pain on the outside of your upper forearm, just below the bend of your elbow during general movements of the lower arm and hand.
The elbow joint is surrounded by muscles that move your elbow, wrist and fingers. The tendons in your elbow join the bones and muscles together and control the muscles of your forearm.
Tennis elbow is usually caused by overusing the muscles attached to your elbow and used to straighten your wrist. If the muscles and tendons are strained, tiny tears and inflammation can develop near the bony lump (the lateral epicondyle) on the outside of your elbow.
Tennis elbow is sometimes caused by playing tennis. However, it is often caused by other activities that place repeated stress on the elbow joint.
Pain that occurs on the inner side of the elbow is often known as golfer's elbow.
Treating tennis elbow
Tennis elbow is known as a self-limiting condition, which means it will eventually get better without treatment. Most cases of tennis elbow last between six months and two years. However, in about nine out of 10 cases, a full recovery is made within a year.
Holding a cold compress, such as a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel, against your elbow for a few minutes several times a day can help ease the pain.
It is important that the injured arm is rested and a break taken from the activities that causes or exacerbates the problem.
Golfer’s Elbow or medial epicondylitis is a condition that is very similar to Tennis Elbow, with similar treatments.