Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

Lateral Epicondylitis, or what is commonly referred to as Tennis Elbow, is a condition of the common wrist extensor origin. The wrist extensors are the group of muscles on the back of the forearm, and most of them share a common attachment on a bone located on the outside of the elbow. This boney attachment is called the Lateral Epicondyle. The names of the wrist extensor muscles that connect here and are most often affected are:

  • Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus
  • Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis *
  • Extensor Digitorum
  • Extensor Carpi Ulnaris

The pain associated with Lateral Epicondylitis is usually an insidious and gradual onset, due to repetitive overuse of this muscle group. It is generally felt over the Lateral Epicondyle, but it may travel down the forearm, into the wrist and hand. The pain is usually triggered by everyday activities such as gripping, lifting, carrying grocery bags, or holding a cup of coffee. There may also be associated symptoms such as weakness in the wrist and hand, stiffness in the elbow, and pins and needles sensations.

Lateral Epicondylitis is more common in people who can relate to the following:

  • Engage in repetitive physical activity
  • Use improper technique and mechanics during sport
  • Work a desk job that requires repetitive keyboarding and mouse use
  • Play an instrument
  • Have previously injured the elbow
  • Are diagnosed with disc degeneration in the cervical spine (causing irritation of the nerve that supplies this muscle group)

Lateral Epicondylitis can occur bilaterally, but it usually starts in the dominant arm. It is one of the most common overuse elbow injuries in adults, and consultation with a Physiotherapist is highly recommended to help resolve this problem.

If you think you might have Lateral Epicondylitis contact us to book an appointment with one of our Physiotherapists today!