Tennis Elbow

What is Tennis Elbow or Epicondylitis?

Tennis Elbow or Epicondylitis is a chronic condition caused by damage to the fibres that make up the tendon.  Repetitive movements or overuse of the joint lead to microtearing in the tissues which results in painful inflammation of the muscles and soft tissues surrounding the tendon.   The condition manifests itself as pain or soreness on the outside (lateral) side of the upper arm near the elbow and this pain may also radiate down the front of the forearm.

Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) is not just restricted to racquet sport players but is a common problem for many people whose activities require strong gripping or repetitive wrist motions – workers such as truck drivers, gardeners, painters, plumbers and carpenters are often affected.   Statistics show that Epicondylitis can affect up to 3% of any population.  The debilitating pain and loss of function that often accompany it can cause serious disruption to the simplest tasks of everyday life.

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow is characterised by inflammation, soreness or pain on the outer side of the elbow.  This pain may radiate down the forearm when grasping or twisting as the injury is caused by repeated motions of the wrist or forearm.   The condition is exacerbated by the fact that tendons do not receive the same amount of oxygen and blood as muscles, therefore they heal very slowly and, in some cases, the condition can last for years.  Key symptoms include elbow pain that gradually worsens, pain/tenderness radiating from the outside of the elbow to the forearm when grasping or twisting, and weak grasp.