What is Lateral Epicondylitis?


Lateral Epicondylitis, also known as “Tennis Elbow”, is inflammation or degenerative changes occurring to the common extensor tendon which attaches to the lateral epicondyle of the humerus (just above elbow joint). The common extensor tendon is connected to muscles which help extend the wrist (pull back of the hand up), as well as flex (bend) the elbow.


What causes Lateral Epicondylitis?


  • Overuse of the wrist extensors – activities which require repetitive and vigorous use of the forearm muscles

  • Improper lifting techniques with hand held items. Ex: bags, jars, briefcases, etc.

  • Playing racquet sports such as tennis and racquet ball – especially with improper technique. Backhand strokes are more aggravating to the problem.


What to do?

  • Rest the inflamed area by decreasing aggravating activities and ice regularly

  • Lift with palm facing up, or use two hands, when holding/lifting an object

  • Stretch the muscles of the extensor forearm and be compliant with your home exercise program from your Physical Therapist

  • Use a counterforce strap over the extensor muscle mass to reduce stress to the area.