Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis is a painful overuse condition given it’s name because of it’s location and the kind of activity that tends to bring it on. Tennis Elbow is the nickname because many tennis players develop this pain due to the back-swing that tends to injure the lateral forearm when done incorrectly.
This condition usually starts with a sudden twinge at the elbow when doing certain movements and worsens the more it is used. It is a common condition among painters, mechanics, secretaries and computer programmers or anyone who works in a repetitive environment.
The extensor muscles of the forearm extend the wrist backward and where they attach near the elbow is where a person can develop tendinitis or inflammation. When the condition doesn’t heal on it’s own, and the person continues aggravating it by performing the same activities that caused the injury in the first place, it will worsen.
Some of the worst cases I have seen are those who start to develop weakness and numbness of the hand and become so tender in the forearm, that even light touch near the elbow makes them want to scream.
The best home remedies are a tennis elbow brace and lots and lots of frequent icing. Clinically, we use a combination of laser therapy, ultrasound, and massage therapy to decrease swelling and promote healing.
Like most tendinitis conditions, changing habits to allow the tissues to heal is one of the greatest challenges. Therefore changing habits or switching hands when performing certain movements are necessary.