182016Apr

Treatment Options for Lateral Epicondylitis

Lateral Epicondylitis is a painful condition that makes moving your arm difficult. Having this condition can affect your life dramatically, making it difficult for you to work, exercise or engage in any form of physical activity.

If you are suffering from Lateral Epicondylitis, seeking treatment can improve your symptoms and increase your enjoyment of life. Fortunately, several treatment options are available to meet your needs.

Lateral Epicondylitis Basics

Lateral Epicondylitis, which may also be referred to as tennis elbow, occurs when the muscles used to straighten and stabilize the wrist degenerate and become weak. This leads to tenderness in the affected area, as well as severe pain with activity. While some patients experience pain only with certain activities, others experience pain with any movement of the elbow.

A hand specialist can usually diagnose Lateral Epicondylitis with only a physical examination, as well as a description of your symptoms. Further testing isn’t required for most patients. 

Treatment Options

Multiple treatment options are available for patients with Lateral Epicondylitis. The most appropriate treatment for you will depend on the specifics of your condition, as well as your treatment goals. Treatments offered include:

  • Activity Modification – Changing your daily activities to minimize use of your elbow can improve your symptoms and give your muscles a chance to rest.
  • Wearing a Brace –  Wearing a brace stabilizes the joint, allowing it to rest and heal. 
  • Occupational Therapy – Occupational therapy is a process designed to help you learn to manage your condition on a daily basis, reduce your pain and live a full life.
  • Anti-inflammatory Medication – Anti-inflammatory medications reduce inflammation in the affected area, thus minimizing pain. 
  • Topical Treatments – Topical treatments, such as ice, heat or various creams, may be beneficial for patients with Lateral Epicondylitis. 
  • Cortisone Injections – When more conservative treatment options are not effective, cortisone injections can be used to reduce swelling and pain. 
  • Surgery – Surgery is a last resort used for Lateral Epicondylitis patients with incapacitating pain. During the procedure, the surgeon removes diseased tissue in hopes of improving the patient’s symptoms. 

In many cases, doctors will recommend two or more of these treatments as part of a multi-faceted approach. 

Seeking Treatment

If you are dealing with the symptoms of Lateral Epicondylitis, a qualified physician can help you manage the condition. Please call Florida Hand Center today to learn more.