Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylalgia) is the most common overuse injury in the elbow. Despite the name Tennis isn't the only thing that can cause or aggravate this type of pain. If you are having pain on the outside of your elbow with things like shaking hands, grabbing dishes, gripping or writing it is possible you may be experience pain associated with tennis elbow.
Tennis Elbow refers to a pain that is typically on the outside of the elbow and orginates from the beginning of your extensor muscles i.e. muscles that lift the back of your hand and straighten your fingers. This codition is most common for indiviudals between 30-50 years of age and those who play racquet sports or are required to do a lot of manual labour, however, it can emerge in anyone who begins a new activity in an amount that the elbow is not accustomed to.
Commonly it has been advised that this condition can be treated with anti-inflammatory medication and rest, however, in recent years research has shown that the pain is not due to inflammation meaning this course of treatment is rarely effective. Research has compared manual therapy to cortisone injections and while there is some pain releif at 3 months, the cortisone injections actually showed worse outcomes in pain and function at a 12 month follow up.
Tennis elbow can range from a mild annoyance to a debilitating pain and when severe often takes up to a year for full resolution. If you believe you are experiencing what might be tennis elbow, it is best to seek treatment early and have a through assessment from your health care professional to rule out other conditions and provide you with appropriate advice and management strategies to reduce your time spent away from the activities you enjoy.