What is Lateral epicondylitis?

Lateral epicondylitis is normally identified with pain on the outside of the elbow whereas Golfers elbow is often pain on the inside of the elbow.

This condition is an overuse injury caused by repeated stress on the elbow joint. When the muscles are overused or strained small tears and swelling (inflammation) can develop near the bend in the arm on the outside of your elbow.

Although the common name is tennis elbow and it could be caused by tennis, it is more often associated with other activities that place stress on the arm and specifically the elbow joint. Activities could include manual work, playing sport or music, so doing things such as painting and decorating, playing squash or playing a musical instrument such as a fiddle or violin.

How does Lateral epicondylitis feel and who may be affected?

  • Initially you might feel pain in your upper forearm
  • It could be painful when you are lifting, twisting or bending your arm
  • You may feel pain when you are gripping things such as a racket
  • It could be that you also find it difficult to straighten your arm

According to the NHS around 5 in every 1,000 people will go to see their Doctor about this condition and that as many as one in three people have it at any given time.

It is most commonly seen, equally in men and women, who are between 40 and 60 years old.

What treatments are available for Lateral epicondylitis?

There are a number of treatment options from manipulation by a physiotherapist or osteopath. For more serious conditions you might consider injections or even surgery. One of the newest treatments available is shockwave therapy. Shockwave is particularly effective for stubborn conditions.

It is clinically proven that pressure waves, when applied to injured tissues, stimulate metabolic reactions, in less technical terms it encourages the body to heal itself. These reactions include:-

  • Reduction of pain felt by nerve fibers
  • Increased blood circulation in surrounding soft tissues
  • Beginning of healing process triggered by stem cells activation