Got pain on the outer elbow?
Been doing something repetitive like hammering, typing, wrenching?
Is it worse when you straighten you elbow?
Does the pain come on even when you’re not doing much?
You might be experiencing ‘Tennis Elbow,’ a pathology of the tendons of the lateral elbow.
Straightening the elbow often increases the pain because the tendons rub across the radial head (see blue arrow).
In the clinic this presents as:
– Pain on lateral elbow palpation
– Pain on resisted wrist extension / middle and index finger extension / elbow extension
We need to make sure that it’s not:
– Related to a C 6/7 nerve root irritation at the neck
– Entrapment of the Posterior Interosseous Nerve (branch of Radial Nerve)
It may be treated with:
– Massage of the forearm muscles (not the tendons)
– Joint mobilisations of the distal radial-humeral joint (Physio
moving the radial head to relieve pressure)
– A ‘Tennis Elbow’ brace
– Progressive strengthening / loading of the tendons with exercise
– Global upper limb and hand strengthening
– Paracetamol and Ibuprofen (from the Pharmacist only)
You can see why getting the right diagnosis early allows for the correct treatment to be applied, before the condition worsens.
What’s been your experience with lateral elbow pain and how did you manage it?
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