Elbow Pain - What is "tennis elbow"?

If you have pain on the outside of your elbow, chances are it’s tennis elbow. Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition caused by overuse which triggers inflammation or, in some cases, microtearing of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow. The forearm muscles and tendons become damaged from repeating the same motions again and again. This leads to pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow especially when you reach or grasp. Getting milk out of the fridge, reaching to grab a cup of coffee and bringing it to your mouth: these things can be exquisitely painful when suffering from tennis elbow. And you don't need to play tennis to get it, and it can happen in your dominant or non-dominant hand. Initial treatments are simple, and include stretching, strengthening, and a forearm strap. Cortisone shots almost always work for several months, but usually wear off. The good news is that tennis elbow usually resolves on its own. In some cases surgery is necessary, like in the procedure shown below, but that's the case for very few patients.