Elbow / Wrist / Hand

Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis)

What is a tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is characterised by a pain in the outer elbow bone that is felt during certain movements. A common cause of the pain is hitting a backhand in tennis, which has given it the name tennis elbow.

Causes

The symptoms are caused by excessive stress on the tendons of the lower arm that attach to the outside elbow bone. The excessive stress is usually caused by repetition of the same movement. Such movements can occur during laborious activities such as working on a production line, practising sport or painting, but less heavy labour such as ironing or working at a computer can also lead to symptoms. Disorders of the neck, shoulder and upper back may also play a causative role.

Signs and symptoms

The major sign is the pain that develops on the outside elbow bone while using the elbow, when working or practising sport for example. The pain can radiate in the lower arm and certain stiffness may also be felt.

How is a tennis elbow diagnosed?

The diagnosis is made according to the patient's pattern of symptoms and an examination of the elbow. During this examination severe pain is felt when pressure is put on the outside elbow bone. There are also a few specific tests which can elicit the pain specific to this condition.

Do I need additional examinations?

  • Diagnostic examination for other non-physical factors important for your pain, have already been done by yourself trough filling out your pain questionnaires.
  • In case of the complaints persists: X-rays, ultrasound..

What are my treatment possibilities?

Multidisciplinary Treatment

Depending on the cause of your pain, your pain specialist will decide whether or not to embark on physical treatment. Based on the results of the completed pain questionnaire, additional examinations can be carried out and, apart from physical treatment, other methods of treatment will be suggested.

Non-physical Treatments

If the results of your pain questionnaire are abnormal, your pain specialist will offer you one of the non-physical treatments listed below:

Physical Treatments

Medication

Other Treatments

Interventional Pain Treatments