Lateral epicondylitis AKA Tennis Elbow is the most common overuse syndrome in our elbow. It is a tendinopathy injury involving the extensor muscles of the forearm that originate on our lateral epicondyle of the humerus or outer side of elbow.

Are you the high-risk person prone to get this injury?

Continuous contractile overload that stresses the extensor tendon near the attachment on the humerus is the primary cause of epicondylitis.

It occurs often in repetitive upper extremity activities such as computer use, heavy lifting, forceful forearm pronation and supination, and repetitive vibration.

People with repetitive one-sides movements in their jobs such as electricians, carpenters, gardeners, desk bound jobs also commonly present with this condition.

How to do self-checking if the suspect this injury?

The most prominent symptom of epicondylitis lateralis is pain. This pain can be produced by palpating your bony prominent of outer side of elbow which is the extensor muscles origin on the lateral epicondyle.

It is also often seen that the flexibility and strength in the wrist extensor and posterior shoulder muscles are deficient. At least patients report weakness in their grip strength or difficulty carrying objects in their hand, especially with the elbow extended.

Self-treatment for lateral epicondylitis

1. Icing

  • Massage the tender area with ice or crushed ice for 10-15 minutes


2. Stretching exercises

  • The best stretching position for the wrist extensor muscle, is reached with the elbow in extension (straighten), forearm in pronation, wrist in flexion and with ulnar deviation of the wrist (palm hand down), according to the patient’s tolerance.
  • It should be held for 30- 45 sec for several times before and after the exercises.

3. Strengthening (eccentric) exercises

  • These are the simple recommended exercises that you may try out.

If the symptom doesn’t resolve or get worse, please to seek medical advice from nearby physician or physiotherapist for more advanced treatment.

Article by Kelvin Khaw

Physiotherapist from Your Physio

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