Elbow Tendonitis

What is elbow tendonitis?

Elbow tendonitis is a condition caused by overuse of the arm, forearm, and hand muscles. Any sport or activity requiring repetitive arm, elbow, wrist, and hand movements, particularly while gripping an object tightly, can trigger the issue (i.e. golfing, tennis, gardening). Overloading the elbow joint can also trigger elbow tendonitis, especially weightlifting.

 Elbow tendonitis is characterized by sudden or more gradual injury of the muscle and tendon area around the outside of the elbow. The tendons are inflamed, irritated or suffer microscopic tears.

What are the symptoms of elbow tendonitis?

The symptoms of elbow tendonitis include slowly worsening pain and tenderness around the  elbow—although it can also develop suddenly. Your pain can also extend into your upper or lower arm. The pain is often worse when gripping things tightly, like shaking someone’s hand, and is exacerbated when stabilizing or moving the wrist against resistance, as we do when lifting things, opening jars, or even brushing teeth.

How do we treat elbow tendonitis?

The goals of elbow tendonitis treatment are to reduce pain, inflammation, facilitate healing, and avoid aggravating or placing stress on your injured elbow. Physical therapy can be quite effective. To determine the best treatment for you, we thoroughly assess your injury, your past health medical history, and your level of pain. After the pain of elbow tendonitis has been reduced or eliminated altogether, we will provide stretching and strengthening exercises for the muscles and tendons around your elbow to prevent future risk of injury and keep your elbow as limber and fluid as possible. We also look at shoulder stability, grip strength, and core strength as the elbow could be compensating for weakness in these areas.