With today’s technology over use, what we call tennis elbow might need to be called texting or computer elbow in the future. The medical term for tennis elbow is Lateral Epicondylitis. It is an injury involving the extensor muscles of the forearm. These extensors originate on the lateral epicondylar region of the humerus; thus the medical name. It is a painful condition that can usually be traced back to overuse of one’s extremity. A person with this condition will usually have pain on the outside of the elbow and in the forearm. Often times it is in one’s dominant extremity and the pain can be so extreme that one cannot straighten his or her elbow or grip items without severe pain. The key to treating this condition is to seek early intervention from a medical professional. If you allow this condition to continue for a long period of time, it can become chronic and difficult to treat without surgery intervention.
It is recommended that you see an orthopedic specialist to exam and determine your exact diagnosis. Often times, a patient is referred to occupational therapy for early intervention. This treatment could include splinting, acute therapy needs and education for home exercises, as well as education to problem solve the person’s daily tasks that might be causing these concerns. Working with an occupational therapist to adapt activities is vital to the healing process and often the key to successful recovery.
If you have a job or hobby that involves high repetitive motions of the wrist and forearm, monitor overuse closely and do not ignore pain that you have in your arm. It is giving you a warning sign.