Where Does it Hurt Series
* Please Note: Below is a listing of some but not all conditions that physical therapists treat. This page is intended for informational purposes only. The information below should in no way be considered complete and in no way should be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please consult your physician, physical therapist or other healthcare provider for more information on the condition that concerns you.
Lateral epicondylitis, also known as “tennis elbow,” is an overuse syndrome. There is pain or inflammation on the outside of the forearm near the elbow. The tendon, which connects muscle to bone, might be partially torn at or near the place where it connects to the bony bump on the outside of the elbow (called the lateral epicondyle). Tennis elbow most commonly affects people in their dominant arm, but it can occur in either or both arms.
Tennis elbow is caused by repeated motions of the wrist or forearm. The injury is called “tennis elbow” because of its common occurrence in the sport. The violent extension of the wrist, like during a backhand hit, causes the condition. However, any activity that involves repetitive twisting of the wrist, like using a screwdriver, is also responsible.
- Elbow pain that gradually worsens
- While grasping or twisting, pain radiates from the outside of the elbow to the forearm and back of the hand when grasping or twisting
- Weak grasp
This condition, also known as medial epicondylitis, is a very similar injury to tennis elbow, but on the inside of the elbow. Due to overuse, the tendon tears near the region where it connects to the bony bump on the inside of the elbow (called the medial epicondyle). As with tennis elbow, a variety of people experience this injury. Tennis players and others who use their wrists or clench their fingers repeatedly can develop this condition.
It is caused by damage to the muscles and tendons that control the wrist and fingers. The damage is caused by repetitive or excess stress on the wrist and fingers. Activities like golf, throwing sports (pitching), racket sports, and simple things like typing, hammering, or painting can lead to this injury.
- Pain and tenderness on the inner side of the elbow
- Pain radiating to the inner side of the forearm
- Stiffness in elbow
- Pain and difficulty in making a fist
- Weakness in hands and wrists