This condition is also known as Lateral epicondylitis and is characterized by pain on the outside of the elbow joint. It was considered common in tennis players causing them pain on back hand shots. It causes pain on gripping, opening jars and bottles and lifting. There may be heat and swelling associated with it. X rays can out rule oesteo arthritis in the elbow joint but it should be noted that O.A. in the elbow is uncommon.
Repetitive trauma often from sporting activities but also from D.I.Y., gardening and assembly line work. Faulty sporting technique, poor workplace ergonomics, poor equipment [e.g. wrong size grip on tennis racquet or using a rusty shears to cut a hedge] and poor bio-mechanics can cause the problem.If insufficient rest is taken from the aggravating activities the problem can become chronic and tendon can degenerate causing weakness in the affected muscle groups and chronic pain.
Bio mechanical analysis of the upper limb and its movemnet patterns to determine causative factors will be undertaken on the first assessment. It is vital to determine the cause so that recurrence can be avoided. Sports or workplace equipment may need to be reviewed.Video analysis of sporting technique may be necessary. It should also be noted that pain in this area can be referred by the neck and shoulder and that treatment may need to be directed at these areas also.
Treatment may involve mobilizing stiff joints, massage, electrotherapy [to optimize healing and relieve pain] and individually tailored exercises. Sometimes taping or braces are used to off load sensitive structures. Rest is important in the acute phase. As the condition settles graded eccentric strengthening exercises will be prescribed.