Lateral Epicondylitis – Pain and Inflammation of the Lateral Elbow
“Tennis elbow” is not an uncommon condition that affects men and women, right or left handed and the age group of 30 -60. It commonly affects the outer, or lateral, portion of the elbow and causes pain with minimal movements, but especially gripping and turning.
The cause is not really known, but assumed to be due to repetitive motions of hitting ball after ball after ball, although similar injuries occur in non-tennis players and non-athletes. Presumably microtears, or some injury, develop in the tendon of the lateral epicondyle which initiate the inflammation and subsequent pain.
Pain can be quite severe and debilitating such that lifting is difficult and simply shaking hands can be excruciating.
Therapy involves use of non-steroidal medications, corticosteroid injections, stretching and strengthening exercises, counter-balance bands, etc.
Choice of string and gauge may also be helpful in alleviating the painful symptoms of tennis elbow. A thinner gauge, such as 17 or even 18 gauge, may transmit less shock to the elbow. The use of a “softer” string, such as Gamma “Live Wire,” Prince “Softex” or “Synthetic Gut Multifilament” or a co-polymer string may also be helpful.
Note: The information provided above is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. If you have developed pain, please call your doctor.