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Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)

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Lateral Epicondylitis (PDF)

 

Health Information

Tennis Elbow

UW Health's Sports Medicine doctors treat a wide range of common athletic injuries.

 

Lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, is a term used to describe pain on the lateral (outside) epicondyle of the elbow. This condition is not exclusive to those who play tennis, but is also associated with activities that require repetitive, forceful movements of the wrist and forearm, coupled with a strong grip. Racquetball, hammering and typing may also cause lateral epicondylitis.

 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Tenderness on the lateral side of the elbow (lateral epicondyle)
  • Pain is often aggravated while strongly gripping an object

Treatment

  • Decrease the intensity and frequency of the aggravating activity
  • Stretching exercises for wrist flexion and extension should be performed prior to and after the activity
  • Strengthening the muscles of the wrist and forearm, using low weight and high reps
  • Ice before and after activity to help decrease pain
  • Wear an elbow strap below the painful area during activities that can reduce the forces on the epicondyle
  • Wear a wrist splint that allows the irritated tissues to rest
  • Anti-inflammatory medication as prescribed by a physician