The most common cause of elbow pain we treat is tennis elbow, although it can also be “golfer’s elbow”, trapped or tethered nerves, muscle strains and ligament sprains.
Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylalgia) can produce pain on the outside of the elbow when gripping, typing or lifting. It often hurts when you press on the bump on the outside of the elbow too.
The pain is caused by tendonosis, a change in organisation and alignment of the collagen fibres that make up a tendon – and not by tendonitis, as we used to believe, since there is no inflammation present. Golfer’s elbow is caused by a similar process affecting the opposite side of the elbow. Both can often be addressed with physiotherapy alone, although cases that fail to respond sometimes benefit from injections or shockwave therapy treatment. Surgery is becoming less popular as outcomes do not tend to be much better than leaving the tendon to its own devices.
Whatever the cause, accurate diagnosis and early treatment are key, so book an expert assessment sooner rather than later.