by Denise Müller, Grad. Sports Scientist
Epicondylitis is a painful inflammation of the tendon attachments to the muscles of the lower arm which originate at the two bony prominences above the epicondylus on the outer part of the humerus.
This painful inflammation is an acquired injury and generally occurs due to overstress of the lower arm.
There are two different distinguishable forms:
- The tennis elbow, also known as tennis arm – epicondylitis radialis humeri. This pain occurs on the outer bony prominence of the humerus – the area in which the extensor muscles of the wrist and finger are found.
- The golfer elbow, also known as golfer arm – epicondylitis ulnaris humeri. This pain occurs on the inner bony prominence of the humerus – the area in which the flexor muscles of the wrist and finger are found.
A typical symptom is localised pressure pain of the muscles on the elbow, and pain which occurs when the respective muscles are used.
Epicondylitis can initially be treated with cold water or an icepack. After this injection therapy by a doctor, ointment dressings and resting of the joint over a certain period of time can relieve and improve the condition. In any case it is important to gently and adequately stretch the affected muscles and to strengthen them after the pain recedes in order to prevent renewed overstress.