Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
Definition: Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) is the name for a condition in which the bony bump at the outer side of the elbow is painful and tender.
Causes: Overuse of the muscles in your forearm that straighten and raise your hand and wrist. When these muscles are overused, the tendons are repeatedly tugged at the point of attachment (the lateral epicondyle). This can be from tennis and other racket sports, carpentry, machine work, typing, and knitting.
- pain or tenderness on the outer side of the elbow
- pain when you straighten or raise your wrist and hand
- pain made worse by lifting a heavy object
- pain when you make a fist, grip an object, shake hands, or turn door handles
- pain that shoots from the elbow down into the forearm or up into the upper arm
- Put an ice pack on your elbow for 15 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for 2 to 3 days or until the pain goes away.
- You can also do ice massage. Massage your elbow with ice by freezing water in a Dixie cup. Peel the top of the cup away to expose the ice and hold onto the bottom of the cup while you rub the ice over your elbow for 5 minutes.
- Wear a tennis elbow strap if the pain is relatively new. This strap wraps around the forearm below the elbow, acting as a new attachment site for the forearm muscles and keeping them from pulling on the painful epicondyle.
- Take anti-inflammatory medicine.
- Try to lift objects with your palm facing up to keep from overusing your lateral epicondyle. Use pain as your guide for all activity.
- Do the exercises recommended by your healthcare provider. Your provider may also recommend physical therapy.
- Your provider may recommend an injection of a corticosteroid medicine around the lateral epicondyle to reduce the inflammation. In chronic cases, platelet rich plasma (PRP) may be injected.
- In severe cases, surgery may be recommended.
Spine West's MRI Facility
Spine West's MRI (voted to be named "Maggie" by our patients) has been selected by Esaote to be a model center for other facilities looking to purchase an MRI machine! Esaote is the manufacturer of our machine and has chosen Spine West to be a model facility because of our friendly staff and easy MRI accessibility. We would like to thank our patients for their support for Spine West and if you would like to receive more information about "Maggie," please give our office a call!