The Board-Certified Doctors of Elite Pain Management can create individualized treatment plans to free you from the grips of pain.
*Below you will find detailed journals on conditions we treat and treatments we use.
To learn more about our Santa Ana and Newport Beach based practice, our approach,or to schedule an appointment, explore the rest of the site.*
Tennis elbow, or in medical terms, lateral epicondylitis, is an extremely painful condition of the elbow. It occurs when the tendons and muscles in your elbow are overused or overloaded by repetitive motions of the elbow, wrist, and arm. Tennis elbow is the most common reason for patients seeking medical attention due to elbow pain. It is unknown exactly what causes tennis elbow, but in general, it is thought to be due to multiple and repetitive small tears in the tendons attaching the arm muscles to the elbow joint.
Tennis elbow is a condition where the tendons that join the muscles in the forearm to the elbow are inflamed causing extreme pain and tenderness. These muscles and tendons become damaged from overuse by repetitive motions, particularly like in sports such as tennis, squash, fencing, and racquetball. Usually, rest and over the counter pain relievers can help relieve tennis elbow.
Pain associated with tennis elbow could be in your forearm, at your elbow, and be experienced when you lift or bend your arm, when you are gripping small objects or when you are twisting your forearm. Tennis elbow’s degenerative condition of a tendon in the forearm and it is associated with strenuous overuse, not specifically with playing tennis.
What are the Symptoms of Tennis Elbow?
Symptoms of tennis elbow usually develop gradually and worsen over days and weeks. Pain radiating from the outside of the elbow, down the forearm and wrist. It is usually a dull pain worsened by repetitive movement of the elbow and wrist. In some cases, there might be swelling of the elbow and simple activities such as shaking hands or carrying groceries might be painful.
You may also experience symptoms such as a weak grip strength or a burning sensation on the outer part of your elbow.
What Causes Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is the result of overuse and muscle strain injury. It is caused by repeated contraction of the muscles in your forearm used to turn your forearm and wrist. These repeated motions can result in a number of small tears in the tendon that attaches your forearm muscles to your elbow. Other than playing certain spots, such as tennis or squash, some occupations can also lead to a tennis elbow such as painting, plumbing, and baking.
Risk Factors of Tennis Elbow
Age: Tennis elbow can affect nearly all ages but occurs most commonly in adults between the ages of 30 and 50
Activities: Playing racket sports increases your risk of tennis elbow, especially if you have a poor technique.
Occupation: Certain jobs require more repetitive motions of the arm and wrist increasing the chances of getting tennis elbow.
Diagnosis of Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow has to be diagnosed by your doctor. Your doctor will examine you and might ask you to move your arm, hand, and wrist in several different ways. Your doctor will also take a medical history from you which includes asking questions about your occupation and activities. The combination of a medical history and physical examination is usually enough for a doctor to diagnose tennis elbow, but in some cases, an x-ray might be requested to rule out other causes such as arthritis. An MRI or ultrasound can show the degenerative changes but is rarely required.
Treatment of Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow is a chronic condition that can last for several months or years. Usually, sufficient rest, pain-killers, ice application and abstaining from certain activities is enough to treat a tennis elbow. In some cases, your doctor might suggest treating tennis elbow with painkillers and physical therapy and in severe cases where nonsurgical treatment of 6 to 12 months have not been beneficial, surgery might be necessary.
Home Remedies for tennis elbow:
Your doctor might suggest some self-care options.
Rest. This is the first step towards recovery. Abstain from certain activities that may worsen the pain such as sports or heavy lifting.
Ice Apply a cold pack or ice to the affected area for 20 minutes 4 or 5 times a day.
Pain-killers. Over-the-counter pain relievers might be beneficial such as NSAIDS (ibuprofen or aspirin) which can reduce the pain and swelling.
Treatment options for elbow pain is best achieved through a combination of injection in conjunction with graded rehabilitative exercise.Individual programs may include a cortisone shot, regenerative medicine, PRP injection, PRP treatment or stem cell therapy which boosts the body’s natural ability to heal.
If your pain does not resolve after a brief period, contact us so that we may help diagnose the problem and treat the underlying cause. Do not let pain persist or else it may become chronic.