Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition characterised by the sensation of pain around the outside of the elbow. It is a common condition, affecting around 1 in 50 people. In most cases, the pain is temporary so long as it is rested and you stop doing the activity that is triggering the pain. Furthermore, there are several treatment strategies that may improve your recovery and manage symptoms.
The pain experienced in tennis elbow is usually worse on movement of the elbow, though it can be felt at rest. Common movements that exacerbate the pain include gripping, bending the elbow and twisting the forearm. 9 in 10 people recover within a year.
Tennis elbow is usually cause by overexertion of the elbow joint, though it can also result from knocking the elbow. Straining the muscles and tendons in the elbow can result in small tears and inflammation around the bony prominence at the outside of your elbow, known as the lateral epicondyle.
Tennis elbow usually gets better without treatment. However, since it can last for several months at a time, medication can help alleviate some of the associated pain. Commonly used painkillers include paracetamol, ibuprofen and topical NSAIDs available in the form of creams. In addition, icepacks can be effective, along with physiotherapy. In some cases, shock wave therapy appears to be useful and in severe cases, surgery may be considered.
This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Doctify Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. In the event of an emergency, please call 999 for immediate assistance.