Tennis elbow sufferers are not necessarily all tennis players. Lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow is a condition that affects outer or lateral part of the elbow. It is caused by degeneration of a tendon of the forearm that starts at the elbow and allows you to extend your wrist.
Tennis Elbow Symptoms
Tennis elbow patients complain of pain on the outside of the elbow. The pain may radiate down the forearm towards the wrist and become worse with wrist activities, such as opening a jar.
Since racquet sport players are more prone to this condition, hence the name ‘tennis elbow’. Apart from them, people who engage in repetitive activities that involve the wrist and/or elbow can also suffer from tennis elbow.
Tennis Elbow Treatment
Lateral epicondylitis is initially treated with non-invasive methods.
• Activity modification to avoid actions that cause or worsen pain
• Anti-inflammatory medication
• Physical therapy involving exercises to stretch
• Tennis elbow bracing
In case, there is no relief with these, minimally invasive interventional treatments can be used. Steroid injection can decrease inflammation in the tendon and speed up the recovery process. Platelet-rich plasma (or PRP) therapy has also shown to be extremely helpful in treating tennis elbow.
About 80 to 95 percent of patients experience successful pain relief with non-surgical treatment. In case the symptoms do not go away despite non-invasive and interventional procedures, surgery can be performed to excise the degenerative portions of the affected tendon.