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LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS AKA TENNIS ELBOW

Lateral epicondylitis is a physical health condition more commonly referred to as tennis elbow. This painful condition has affected many people and it involves the tendons that attach to the bone on the outside part of the elbow. Tendons anchor muscles to bone. The muscle involved in this condition, the extensor carpi radialis brevis, is what is felt when tennis elbow strikes.

Degeneration of the tendon’s attachment is what happens with lateral epicondylitis; the weakening places enormous stress on this area. Eventually this leads to pain when involved with activities in which this muscle is used such as lifting, gripping, and grasping. Tennis is usually associated with this condition but the problem can occur when participating in many different types of athletic or non-athletic activities. The good news is that the qualified professional staff at Chiro-Med Rehab Centre in Richmond Hill can help.

CAUSES OF LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS

There are numerous causes of lateral epicondylitis that are work and leisure-related. Any activity that places enormous or repetitive stress on the tendon attachments causes tennis elbow. These stresses can come from holding too large a grip or from repetitive gripping activities. This can include painting, meat cutting, window washing with a squeegee and much more.

Another cause can be when the area receives a direct blow that results in the swelling of the tendon and this can lead to degeneration. A sudden and extreme action, activity or force can also injure the tendon.

Although this condition affects many people between 30 and 50 years of age, it can occur in any age group.

SYMPTOMS OF LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS

Pain is usually the primary reason that patients seek out medical evaluation. The pain is located over the outside area of the elbow, over the bone area which is known as the lateral epicondyle. When you have tennis elbow, this area becomes tender to touch. Pain also occurs by any activity which places stress on the tendon, such as gripping or lifting. With activity, tennis elbow pain generally starts at the elbow and can travel down the forearm to the hand. Depending on the severity, any motion of the elbow can become painful.

TREATMENT OF LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS

The good news is that there are non-surgical treatment options. The most common form of treatment is simply limiting or eliminating aggravating activity. Total rest in some cases is not recommended. Modifying how you grip items can also help.

A brace may be required to reduce the tension on the tendon in order to allow it time to heal properly.

Physical therapy plays a large role in the treatment of tennis elbow. A physiotherapist can provide stretching and strengthening exercises to help treat this condition. Also, modalities such as ultrasound, laser or cryotherapy treatment can be used. In some cases anti-inflammatories may be required.

Only in severe cases is surgery considered. The pain must be incapacitating and the patient has not been able to respond well to conservative care. Surgery should never be an option unless severe pain has been ongoing for many weeks.

Like so many other health conditions, it is very important to diagnose lateral epicondylitis as soon as possible. The sooner tennis elbow is treated, the faster the patient can resume their daily activities.

Chiro-Med Medical Centre has the necessary expertise and knowledge to help you recover from lateral epicondylitis. As professionals we can recommend the type of treatment needed and effectively implement that treatment, getting you back up and running as quick as possible! No two patients are identical and neither is treatment. We ensure that you get a treatment plan tailor-made for your abilities. Chiro-Med Medical Centre in Richmond Hill looks forward to helping you resume activities you enjoy!