Also known as lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow is a painful and many times chronic cause of elbow pain along the outer aspect of the elbow. It can be a frustrating problem. Most people who develop tennis elbow never play tennis. It commonly results from repetitive use, overuse, or sometimes even an injury. This condition causes pain with gripping, lifting, and even shaking hands. At Sports Health Northwest, we want to help you get back to pain free activity.
Elbow tendinopathy (tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow)
Many individuals experience pain along the outside or inside of the elbow known as tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) or golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) respectively. Once pain in these areas starts, it can take weeks or even months to get better. Since these conditions cause pain with gripping and lifting, they contribute to a lot of elbow pain and grip weakness in certain individuals and occupations.
Tennis elbow got its name associated with pain associated with the tennis one handed backhand. While golfers elbow pain was thought to come from the energy transmitted to the inner elbow from striking irons and taking a deep divot. Most individuals with tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow are between age 45 and 55, and do not play tennis or golf. Repetitive movements and lifting activity are risk factors for these conditions.
While the pain from tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow can start suddenly, it is usually due to chronic tendon damage where the muscles of the forearm attach to the outer or inner part of the elbow.
If you suspect that elbow pain you’re experiencing is due to tennis or golfer’s elbow, it is important to be seen in a sports injury clinic were a sports medicine doctor can carefully evaluate your elbow and determine the best treatment course. Additionally, musculoskeletal ultrasound plays an important role in assessing the tendon tissue for abnormalities and tearing.
Many treatment options exist to help reduce pain and improve function and strength with the ultimate goal of helping you get back to pain free sports and work activity. At Sports Health Northwest, we offer our Portland area patients a variety of non-surgical, cutting-edge treatment options for these conditions to help you recover.