Office workers who are constantly sitting in front of the computer for long hours without physical movement or those who repetitively strengthen their elbows or wrist in the same motion, or homemakers who are engaged in chores such as cooking or lifting heavy objects all the time may be at risk of having “Tennis Elbow,” or “lateral epicondylitis.”
This is a common type of elbow pain caused by tendon inflammation that attaches the forearm muscles to the bony prominence at the outer side of the elbow. The name of the disease is derived from the common injury that occurs among tennis players. However, nowadays, people in other occupations have also developed this kind of pain. It affects the use of the hands and arms in everyday life. The possible symptoms of the disease include:
- Intermittent pain in the outer side of the elbow
- Unable to extend the arm completely
- Painful when moving the arm and wrist in a motion that requires movement of tendons and muscles, such as wrist extension, lifting objects, and twisting the arm.
- When the symptoms get severe, the pain will radiate to the arm and wrist muscles. The pain would persist even after resting the arm, and there would be no strength to clench the fist.
If you experience any symptoms, do not hesitate to see a doctor for proper treatment. Leaving the disease untreated until it becomes chronic may cause weakness in the fingers and wrist.
The initial stage of treatment is to rest the arm and stop any activities or sports that require heavy arm movements to reduce stress on the injured tissues.
Anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapies are also recommended for initial treatment. Certain physical therapies, such as ultrasound therapy, laser therapy, and shock wave therapy, could be performed to stimulate the healing and recovery of the tissues around the inflamed tendon.
Apart from these, Tennis Elbow can be treated with PRP injection (platelet-rich plasma). The doctor will collect blood from the patient and place it in a centrifuge to separate other components to get concentrated platelets, then inject it back into the injured area or to the bony prominence at the outer side of the elbow. This method reduces inflammation and repairs the injured tendon.
Surgery may be recommended for patients with severe symptoms that affect everyday life or have found no improvements through other treatment methods within 6-12 months.
Currently, endoscopic surgery is used as a minimally invasive procedure. This technology helps patients to recover faster and allows the tendon and muscle to function correctly again in everyday life after the surgery.
For more information, please contact
Orthopedics Center, 2nd Floor, King of Bones Building, Vejthani Hospital
Call +66 (0) 2734-0000 ext. 2298,2299
+66(0)85-223-8888 (English Hotline
- Readers Rating
- Rated 5 stars
5 / 5 (Reviewers)
- Your Rating