Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is an overuse condition of the muscles and tendons along your forearm. As its name suggests, tennis or racquet sports can commonly lead to this overuse condition, but so can other more common activities such as weight lifting, painting, carpentry, and repetitive use of a screwdriver or wrench. The symptoms usually progress gradually and in most cases do not involve a specific injury, with the most common symptoms being pain or burning along the outer part of the elbow and weakness in grip strength. These symptoms are usually worsened with forearm activities such as holding a racquet, shaking hands or twist movement of the forearm. If left untreated, tennis elbow can become a chronic condition and lead to a longer recovery time. Early intervention of this condition greatly improves the speed of a recovery and return to previous activities. Consult with your physician about possible treatment solutions, which may include physical therapy to address postural deficits, improper mechanics of the upper extremity, and muscle imbalances along the elbow and forearm.
Jason M. Garner, MPT
Physical Therapist-Center Manager
SSM Physical Therapy
635 Locust Street
St. Louis, MO 63101