What is Tennis Elbow?

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a fairly common injury that can happen with tennis, racquet sports, or other repetitive arm motion. It is an inflammation of the tendon that attaches to the outside part of the elbow.  If left untreated, it can become a recurring issue. There is a similar issue that happens on the inside part of the elbow, often referred to as golfer’s elbow.

Where is the pain in tennis elbow?

The pain is mainly focused on the outside of your arm where the elbow and forearm meet. As mentioned, it is related to the tendons in your forearm. Tendons are responsible for connecting muscles to bone.  When you repeatedly use your arm in a particular motion, the tendons at the end of your elbow may develop small tears. These tears often cause inflammation which puts stress on other parts of your forearm as well.

What causes tennis elbow?

When playing tennis or racquet sports, it is often the backhand shot that puts stress on your forearm muscles. When repeated, this may lead to the aforementioned tearing and inflammation of the tendons.  However, these injuries do not only come from tennis.  There are a number of other sports and activities that can also result in tennis elbow:

  • Any other racquet sports such as squash or racquetball
  • Tree-cutting (repetitive chainsaw usage)
  • Painting
  • Carpentry
  • Playing certain musical instruments
  • Using plumbing tools
  • Driving screws
  • Cutting up cooking ingredients, especially meat
  • Repetitive computer mouse use

Other risk factors

There may be a number of risk factors that increase your chances of getting tennis elbow. These include:

  • Age: Tennis elbow affects people of all ages but most commonly occurs in adults between the ages of 30-50.
  • Occupation: Those whose jobs involve repetitive motions of the wrist and arm are more likely to develop tennis elbow.

Symptoms of tennis elbow

When you have tennis elbow, the most common symptom is an ache on the outside of the elbow. If left untreated, this ache can develop into chronic pain. This area may even become painful to touch. Eventually, simple things such as gripping, and lifting can become difficult.

Treatment for tennis elbow

Common treatments for tennis elbow include physical therapy, bracing, steroid injections or surgery.  Steroid injections have the ability to reduce inflammation, but they also cause degeneration of the local cells and over time can lead to significant worsening of the condition and further tearing of the tendon. Surgical options have shown positive results but are very invasive and also have the potential of infection, tissue damage, instability of the elbow, chronic pain, and nerve injury.

What is interventional orthopaedics?

At Atlantic Regenerative, our expert physician prefers to use precise image guidance to inject custom concentrations of high-dose stem cells or platelets into the area of concern.  We will inject your body’s own natural healing cells into the exact areas of damage in your elbow. These cells will then work at the site of your injury to help repair damaged tissues, reduce inflammation, and improve function and mobility.  Multiple studies have shown that injections such as platelet-rich plasma last longer, are healthier, and are less invasive than steroid shots or surgery.

Who can perform interventional orthopedics?

Interventional orthopedics requires many hours of training following a standardised protocol to become a licensed Regenexx physician. Therefore, this precise approach to orthopedic care cannot be replicated by a surgeon, traditional pain management/sports doctor, or chiropractor.

If you suffer from tennis elbow or other chronic joint pain, then Regenexx may be the non-surgical solution for you. Contact our offices to book an appointment today and find out more about how we can help you.