About this disease
What it is about
Like golfer's elbow, tennis elbow belongs to the so-called tendon insertion diseases. It affects the tendon insertions of the extensor muscles of the forearm, which originate above the elbow joint on the outer side of the humerus. Due to overstimulation, the tendon insertions develop tiny micro-tears, which can lead to inflammation and severe elbow pain.
Tennis players have an increased risk of developing this painful epicondylitis. However, the occurrence of tennis elbow is not limited to the sport that gives it its name. Other sports or physical work with regular overloading of the muscles in the elbow area can also cause the same clinical picture.
Symptoms and consequences
Anyone suffering from tennis elbow experiences severe pain in the elbow area, which can radiate into the hand. Usually, the tendon insertion of the affected muscle on the outside of the humerus is painful due to pressure. The pain may be triggered or aggravated by strain on the corresponding muscle. In addition, a loss of strength in the affected hand is possible. This can lead to the point where a strong fist grip, holding a bottle, and forceful grasping or handshaking are no longer possible.
How we can help you
Examination and diagnosis
In the clinical examination, tennis elbow is manifested by severe pain on the outside of the elbow. This can be triggered when the patient presses against a resistance from below with the back of the hand. The stabbing pain also occurs when external pressure is applied to the bony tendon insertion (epicondyle) of the extensor muscles of the forearm.
Therapy should initially be conservative with immobilization of the arm. In addition, it is important to avoid the stresses and movement patterns that have led to the problem. Cooling or heat treatment also have a supportive effect. The muscles can be treated with transverse massage. Combination therapy with stimulation current, ultrasound or shock waves can also reduce the pain, as can targeted physiotherapy and, if necessary, infiltration therapy.