Medical Library: Elbow – Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is a painful condition of the bony part (lateral epicondyle) on the out side of the elbow that is caused by inflammation at the point where the tendons of your forearm attach to the bone on the outside of your elbow. It is an overuse condition that can be caused by repetitive activities that involve extending your wrist and/or rotating your forearm. It usually comes on gradually, but may have a sudden onset.

A hand therapist completes a thorough evaluation to determine the severity of the symptoms and the appropriate exercises.  Individuals are instructed in specific motion exercises and progressed to strengthening exercises as their symptoms subside. A counter-force brace for the upper forearm  is typically recommended and worn during normal daily activity. It is important that it be properly positioned. Massaging techniques and modalities such as ice/heat and ultrasound are also incorporated into their rehab program. Education is important and daily activities that contribute to the individual’s elbow pain are discussed and recommendations are given for modification of these activities.

Elbow therapy is performed at our Certified Hand Center, located in Rockford.
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