For a long time, lateral epicondylitis has been among the leading musculoskeletal
conditions affecting people, especially in the sporting arena. Having witnessed the pain that a
patient goes through when a close friend had lateral epicondylitis after a Lon tennis session, I
researched the disorder to get insight into its anatomy and the ideal treatment measures. Lateral
epicondylitis is a tendinopathy injury that involves the extensor muscles of person’s forearm 1-2 .
The injury adversely affect the proper functioning of the muscles originating from the
lateral epicondylar region of the distal humerus making it hard for the affected person to perform
basic functions using or her arm 3 . A critical analysis disorder’s causes, its mechanisms,
symptoms, and the affected functions, as well as the possible treatment options, will help unravel
the ideal ways of mitigating its adverse effects thus setting the foundation for improved welfare
for the many sports personalities who often find it hard dealing with tendonitis.
With evidence form my close fiend’s lateral epicondylitis condition after tennis games, it
is accurate to assert that the common cause of the disorder is through repetitive action involving
the movement of tendons at different joints of the arm. Frequent intense movements of the
tendons at the elbow leads to rupture of some essential muscles, especially when the repetitive
motion happens incorrectly 4 . Other causes of the disorder include; injury, aging, some medical
conditions like arthritis and diabetes, among others. My friend’s lateral epicondylitis condition
was caused by repetitive action during the sporting session.
Some of the notable symptoms form my friend’s condition were mild pain at the elbow
that worsened with time. With time, the pain extends from the outside of the elbow all through
down to the forearm and wrist, leading to difficulty for one to make a firm grip on any object.
Moreover, one feels an excruciating pain when squeezing an object, raising objects or when
shaking hands with other people because of the weak ruptured tendons 4 . My friend with lateral
epicondylitis could barely use her right arm because of the excruciating pain she experienced at
her elbow down to the forearm and the wrist. She opted to use her left arm as in performing most
of her duties before seeing the doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
The diagnosis of lateral epicondylitis involves a series of physical examination to
determine the functioning of the possible affected areas. The doctor should ask the patient to
make movements of the elbow joint while monitoring to detect any anomaly in the operation of
the joint muscles. Besides, the doctor will apply some pressure to the spots where the elbow
tendons are attached and ask the patient to reveal any pain effects while moving his or her joints
as witnessed during the diagnosis of my close friend 2 . The doctor may deem it fit to perform an
X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to the elbow joint to unravel other medical
conditions like arthritis of the elbow that may cause pain at the arm 3 . The results from the
diagnosis guide the doctor on the appropriate treatment measure.
Treatment and Prevention
There are various treatment measures for lateral epicondylitis that were prescribed by the
doctor in my close friend’s case. First, the doctor did reveal that almost all cases of lateral
epicondylitis don’t require surgery to cure. The patient should always take rest as the first
treatment step. In particular, the patient should rest the arm for several weeks to help tone down
the tendon muscles, and this can be achieved by the use of a brace that helps immobilize the
affected tissues 3 . Besides, the patient should use ice packs to help reduce inflammation and
Further, physical therapy is another ideal treatment measure where arm exercise and ice
massage can help improve the condition. The patient may also use medication like nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory medicines to help reduce the pain as well as steroid injections to the affected
areas to help reduce inflammation 2 . Prevention f the condition involves regular exercise to
strengthen and maintain the flexibility of the forearm, using appropriate equipment in any
sporting activity as well as icing one’s elbow after intense physical activity.
It is evident that lateral epicondylitis is a tendonitis disorder that adversely affects the
welfare of the patient after intense physical activity that involves the movement of one’s elbow.
The disorder is common among the sports peoples, and it causes pain on their elbows, making it
hard for them to perform various functions using their arms. After a diagnosis that often involve
a physical examination, the patient receives appropriate treatment measures that help heal the
affected elbow. All sports personalities should understand the ideal ways of preventing lateral
epicondylitis as a way of improving their overall health and welfare.
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acute lateral epicondylitis. BMC musculoskeletal disorders. 2019 Dec;20(1):1-7.
3. Saltychev M, Laimi K, Virolainen P, Fredericson M. Effectiveness of platelet-rich
plasma in treatment of lateral epicondylitis–a systematic review and meta-analysis.
PRM+. 2018 May 8;1(1):7-16.
4. Vaquero-Picado A, Barco R, Antuña SA. Lateral epicondylitis of the elbow. EFORT
open reviews. 2016 Nov;1(11):391-7.