Tennis Elbow / Golfer’s Elbow ‘Epicondylitis’

This painful syndrome is localized around the lateral (outside) epicondyle (the bony protrusion of the humerus) and can be called ‘tennis elbow’, lateral epicondylitis, or epicondylalgia. In the majority of cases, this presents itself due to a series of microtraumas to the tendon in the wrist and the hand’s extensor muscles near to where the tendon attaches to the epicondyle. Conversely, ‘golfers’ elbow’ (or medial epicondylitis / epicondylagia) is characterized by pain on medial (inside) epicondyle, caused by microtraumas to the flexor tendons of the hand and wrist. Repetitive movements in the presence of muscular imbalances result in changes occuring in the tendon of either (or both) the medial or lateral medial epicondyle. 

Problems are more prevalent in certain sports such as golf or tennis, or certain occupations like painters, hairdressers or carpenters. Generally speaking, this affects those in the 30-50 age range the most. Tennis elbow usually features pain localized to the lateral region of the elbow at the epicondyle level which may spread down the forearm and is exacerbated by extension and supination movements – including shaking hands or turning a key – as well as feeling of weakness in the arm. Diagnosis is clinical with support from ultrasound scans to assess the integrity of the tendon. Treatment plans focus on a period of rest followed by rehabilitation including: muscle building exercises, stretching, massage, analgesic physical therapies (laser, ultrasound, and shockwave) and also analgesic injections into the tendons. In the (very) rare cases where rehabilitation is unsuccessful, the tendon can be operated on arthroscopically (keyhole surgery).

While neck pain is common, it is not normal and should receive professional medical care to determine the cause. Dr. Daniel J. Saenz at MVMT Matters in Sacramento, California, is experienced in accurately diagnosing and treating chronic and debilitating neck pain. Call today to schedule your appointment.