Do you experience pain on the outside of your elbow? You could be dealing with tennis elbow.

What to expect with tennis elbow

Elbow Pain

Do you experience pain on the outside of your elbow? This could be attributed to lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow.

The upper arm bone - the humerus - has a bony protrusion on the outside at the elbow called the lateral epicondyle. The muscles which extend the wrist begin here. These muscles are also called upon when using the hand such as typing on the computer and in lifting. The pain may stay at the lateral epicondyle or be felt in the muscles. This usually occurs while doing an activity such as lifting an object or tightly gripping an item.

When the pain is first noticed, it is recommended that you stop the aggravating activity and rest. Apply an ice pack to the painful area for 15 minutes several times per day.

If the pain continues, seeing your doctor is recommended.  He or she may prescribe physical therapy.  The therapist will perform an evaluation and treat the area with special tools to reduce the pain. They will also teach you exercises and ways to modify your activities to prevent stress on the muscles. The combination of these treatments will allow the area to heal, reduce your pain and prevent future occurrences.


About the Author

Lynn Anderson has 38 years of experience as a physical therapist, and is also a certified hand therapist.  She specializes in orthopedic upper extremity (arm) rehabilitation, caring for patients with disorders affecting the hand and upper extremity.