Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, refers to a condition in which the outside (lateral) part, of your upper arm is experiencing soreness or pain.
It is called tennis elbow because the injury is common in patients who play sports that involve a racquet, such as tennis, badminton, and racquetball. Athletes will most often experience symptoms of tennis elbow when they perform backhand serves or returns.
Causes of Tennis Elbow
When you use the muscles in your arms repeatedly, the tendons can develop small tears from which pain radiates. In any situation where you are gripping and twisting your arm, lateral epicondylitis can develop. This means people who play racquet sports are not the only ones at risk for tennis elbow. People in occupations that require manual labor or using tools can also develop tennis elbow.
What Does Tennis Elbow Feel Like?
A person with tennis elbow usually describes a worsening amount of pain in the outer part of the upper arm. In addition, they report having a weak grip and additional pain when they twist their arm. If you are noticing significant pain in your elbow, you should have an orthopedic specialist check it out.
Non-surgical treatment options include making changes to your daily routine or techniques. If you play a sport like tennis, badminton, or racquetball, getting a different racquet with a more appropriate grip size might help to solve the problem. You should also put ice on your arm 2-3 times a day if the pain is bothering you. If you are still in significant pain, you may need to include an over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen.
If you are experiencing prolonged pain in the upper part of your arm, you should make an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists.