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Lateral Epicondylitis

Lateral Epicondylitis also known as tennis elbow is soreness or pain on the outside (lateral) side of the upper arm near the elbow. Muscles in your forearm attach to the bone on the outside of your elbow. When you use these muscles over and over again, small tears develop in the tendon. Over time, this leads to irritation and pain where the tendon is attached to the bone.

Lateral Epicondylitis is common in people who play a lot of tennis or other racquet sports, hence the name “tennis elbow.” Backhand is the most common stroke to cause symptoms. However, any activity that involves repetitive twisting of the wrist (like using a screwdriver) can lead to lateral epicondylitis. Therefore, painters, plumbers, construction workers, cooks, and butchers are all more likely to develop lateral epicondylitis.  This condition may also be due to constant computer keyboard and mouse use.

Lateral Epicondylitis: Diagnosis/Definition

Lateral EpicondylitisLateral Epicondylitis is an overuse injury involving the lateral epicondyle of the humerus, the wrist and finger extensor muscles and the supinator muscles.

Lateral Epicondylitis: Initial Diagnosis and Management

  • History of sudden overload to wrist or finger extensors or the supinators.
  • Physical examination.
  • Tenderness over the lateral epicondyle of humerus.
  • Pain with use of the wrist or finger extensors or supinators.
  • Pain with resistance to the finger or wrist extensors or the supinator muscles.
  • Loss of function of wrist or finger extension or palpable gap in the muscle.
  • History of chronic use of the wrist or finger extensors or supinators.

Lateral Epicondylitis: Ongoing Management and Objectives

  • Flexibility exercises for wrist and finger extensors and supinator muscles
  • Strengthening exercises for wrist and finger extensor and supinator muscles.
  • Physical therapy procedures
  • Proper conditioning
  • Indication a profile is needed
  • Any limitations that affect strength, range of motion, and general efficiency of upper arms.
  • Slightly limited mobility of joints, muscular weakness, or other musculo-skeletal defects that may prevent hand-to-hand fighting and disqualifies for prolonged effort.
  • Defects or impairments that require significant restriction of use