Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is a condition in which the outer part of the elbow becomes sore and tender. The forearm muscles and tendons become damaged from overuse - repeating the same strenuous motions again and again. This leads to inflammation, pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow.
Any activity, including playing tennis, which involves the repetitive use of the extensor muscles of the forearm can cause acute or chronic tendinitis of the tendinous insertion of these muscles at the lateral epicondyle of the elbow.
It is a common pathology of both athletes and non-athletes affecting 1 to 3% population at large. Tennis elbow is seldom observed in subjects under the age of 25 years and black people are apparently affected less frequently than the whites. Tennis elbow has been reported to be four times more common in the fourth decades of life.
Currently available conservative treatment methods include acupuncture, ultrasound therapy, steroid injection, counter force bracing, cross friction massaging. Some of these treatment modalities have no scientific basis. The most successful non operative treatment consists of avoidance of overuse counterforce bracing to relieve the insertion of extensor tendons, steroid injection into the affected area and stretching exercises.