Tennis elbow is a condition caused by the overuse of the muscles of the arm and forearm. Elbow pain the main symptom of tennis elbow. Treatment involves resting, applying ice, and taking NSAIDs. Cortisone injections may also be beneficial.
Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Tennis elbow commonly occurs in people who overuse their arms, and it can be caused by tennis or a wide variety of occupational and recreational activities.
Tennis elbow causes elbow pain on the bony prominence on the outside of the elbow.
Tennis elbow is diagnosed by a health-care professional, based on symptoms and examining the elbow.
Physical therapy, avoiding activities that injure the elbow, and correcting improper
tennis techniques are important in the treatment of tennis elbow.
What is tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow is a common condition in those who overuse
their arms. It is inflammation on the outside of the elbow, where the tendons
insert into the elbow bone. Tendons are tough bands of tissue that connect
muscle to bone. The medical term for tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis,
which means inflammation at the bony prominence on the outer side of the elbow
(the epicondyle). This is a type of tendinitis.
Tennis elbow is caused by overuse. Probably
fewer than 10% of patients with this condition actually acquire it while playing
tennis. Many other activities can cause tennis elbow, including job and
recreational activities such as gardening, lifting full grocery bags, and
participating in various athletics. The pain is caused by inflammation and degeneration of the
common extensor tendon, one of the tendons in the forearm. Tendon tears may be
the cause of chronic forms of tennis elbow.
Tennis elbow is usually easily
diagnosed by a physical examination. Up to 90% of cases can be remedied by
nonsurgical treatments, and symptoms usually diminish within four to six weeks
with appropriate treatment.
Treatment goals include pain relief and prevention of