What is lateral epicondylitis?
Lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow, is characterized by pain in the back side of the elbow and forearm, along the thumb side when the arm is alongside the body with the thumb turned away. The pain is caused by damage to the tendons that bend the wrist backward away from the palm. A tendon is a tough cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones.
What causes tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow, as the name implies, often is caused by the force of the tennis racket hitting balls in the backhand position. The forearm muscles, which attach to the outside of the elbow, may become sore from excessive strain. When making a backhand stroke in tennis, the tendons that roll over the end of the elbow can become damaged. Tennis elbow may be caused by the following:
- improper backhand stroke
- weak shoulder and wrist muscles
- using a too tightly strung or too short tennis racket
- hitting the ball off center on the racket or hitting heavy, wet balls
- painting with a brush or roller
- operating a chain saw
- frequent use of other hand tools on a continuous basis
What are the symptoms of tennis elbow?
The following are the most common symptoms of tennis elbow. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.
Initially, the pain may be felt along the outside of the forearm and elbow. The pain may increase down to the wrist, even at rest, if the person continues the activity that causes the condition. Pain may also persist when the arm and hand are placed palm-down on a table and the person tries to raise the hand against resistance.
What is cubital tunnel syndrome?
Cubital tunnel syndrome feels similar to the pain that occurs from hitting the "funny" bone in your elbow. The "funny" bone in the elbow is actually the ulnar nerve, a nerve that crosses the elbow (the ulnar nerve begins in the side of the neck and ends in the fingers).
What causes cubital tunnel syndrome?
Cubital tunnel syndrome occurs when the ulnar nerve, which passes through the cubital tunnel (a tunnel of muscle, ligament, and bone) on the inside of the elbow, becomes irritated due to injury or pressure. The condition may occur when a person frequently bends the elbows (such as when pulling, reaching, or lifting), constantly leans on the elbow, or sustains a direct injury to the area.
What are the symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome?The following are the most common symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- numbness in the hand and/or ring and little finger
- hand pain
- hand and thumb clumsiness due to muscle weakness
The symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome may resemble other medical conditions or problems, including medial epicondylitis (golfer's elbow). Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.