Northwest Wellness's Blog

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How do I have tennis elbow when I don't play tennis?

          Tennis elbow is a condition that effects more than just tennis players. In fact, most patients with this condition I see here at Northwest Wellness have never been tennis players. The name lateral epicondylitis is a much more descriptive name for this condition. The lateral epicondyle is a bone on the outside of the elbow area. A group of forearm muscles called the extensors attach to that site at the lateral epicondyle via a tendon. When those muscles are overused, the tendon becomes inflamed (tendonitis) and causes pain either in the elbow or just below the elbow in the muscle belly. Tasks such as gripping or opening a jar lid may become difficult and painful.

            Treatment for this includes rest/activity modification, ice, and a tennis elbow brace (pictured below). Massage and cold laser have also been found to be helpful.

            A similar condition known as golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, affects the inside of the elbow and involves the forearm flexor muscles. Causes and treatment are similar but on the affected region.