Lateral epicondylitis is an inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow. There are two types of epicondyle-related problems: lateral and medial. Lateral epicondylitis is also known as tennis elbow, and medial is golfer’s elbow. The names indicate the specific areas of the elbow affected.
It is often a sports-related injury that stresses the involved tendon. These activities include repetitive work, tennis, and golf. For example, a tennis player strains the tendons a muscle in the elbow playing the game. The strain causes tiny tears to form in the tissue that leads to inflammation and pain. People who play golf often tend to strain the connective tissue on the other side of the elbow joint.
The treatment options are similar in both types of epicondylitis. Rest allows the injury to heal, in some cases ice can be helpful. Physical therapy will provide instruction on proper form to avoid further injury and strengthen the muscles involved.
In some cases, the doctor may immobilize the joint or recommend surgery is recommended to remove damaged tissue. Also, PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injections can help as well. To learn more, call and make an appointment with Dr. Ahn.