Lateral epicondylitis also known as tennis elbow is one of the most common overuse syndromes, affecting both men and women equally. It occurs at an age of 40 years or older with a history of repetitive activity during work or recreation. It often occurs with activities such as racket sports and golf. Repetitive wrist dorsiflexion with supination and pronation causes overuse of the extensor tendons of the forearm and subsequent microtears, collagen degeneration, and angiofibroblastic proliferation. If untreated, lateral epicondylitis persists for a period of six to 24 months.
- Weakness in grip strength or difficulty in carrying objects with hand, especially with elbow extended.
- Occupation or activity related pain at the lateral side of the elbow.
- Pain and tenderness just distal to or over lateral epicondyle.
- NSAIDs – Topical NSAIDs may provide short-term pain relief.
- Local corticosteroid injection has short-term (two to six weeks) benefits in pain reduction, global improvement, and grip strength.
- ORTHOSES – Use of an inelastic, nonarticular, proximal forearm strap may decrease pain and increase grip strength after three weeks. Bracing for up to six weeks may improve the individual’s ability to perform daily activities.
- Physical Therapy – Physical therapy modalities such as laser and iontophoresis, are also often employed to treat lateral epicondylitis.
- Physical therapy exercise regimens, including strength training and stretching, are commonly used to treat lateral epicondylitis. Evidence suggests that exercise programs can reduce pain, and also improve in grip strength.
- Mobilization – Deep transverse friction massage is thought to realign abnormal collagen fiber structure, break up adhesions and scar tissue, and increase healing with hyperaemia.