March 15, 2022
Imagine Physical Therapy
Are you having elbow pain?
Have you recently started a new job, spring cleaning, or playing a new spring sport and you are experiencing pain on the outside of your elbow? Do you feel like your wrist is more tight than normal or having difficulty hold your things like grocery bags or your coffee mug? You may have a condition called lateral epicondylalgia (LE), more commonly known as tennis elbow.
What is lateral epicondylalgia?
Lateral epicondylalgia is a condition caused by repetitive motion of the wrist that stresses the muscles attaching to the outside of the elbow causing damage to the muscle’s tendon.1 This is a nontraumatic condition that effects both males and females over the age of 30 equally, usually in the dominant arm, and across all socioeconomic classes.2 The common term of tennis elbow is a misnomer for only about 5% of all LE cases are tennis players.2 LE pain can linger for a long time so catching it early and starting physical therapy at Imagine right away will give relief sooner. LE can be diagnosed by an easy evaluation and treated with physical therapy.
How can Imagine Physical Therapy help?
During treatments at Imagine Physical Therapy, several noninvasive, easy to perform interventions will be done to reduce pain, improve wrist range of motion, and improve grip strength that will led to improved function and return to desired activity. Treatments for LE include stretches, strengthening, and soft tissue mobilization, with the option of dry needling if you are willing. Each patient will also receive a home exercise program specific to their needs.
How to prevent reoccurrence of LE?
The best way to prevent reoccurrence of LE after completing physical therapy is to continue to strengthen the wrist muscles along with the other muscles that support the arm.3 The Imagine physical therapists can also help prevent reoccurrence by examining the motion that provoked LE and discuss with the patient the best way to perform that motion without causing injury.
1. Waugh, E. J. (2005). Lateral epicondylalgia or epicondylitis: what's in a name?. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 35(4), 200-202.
2. Waseem, M., Nuhmani, S., Ram, C. S., & Sachin, Y. (2012). Lateral epicondylitis: a review of the literature. Journal of back and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, 25(2), 131–142. https://doi.org/10.3233/bmr-2012-0328
3. Shetty, A., & Randolph, M. (2000). A BIOMECHANICAL ANALYSIS OF INJURY, PREVENTION, AND REHABILITATION EXERCISES FOR LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS: A REVIEW. In ISBS-Conference Proceedings Archive.