Can My Elbow Tendonitis Cause Pain In My Hand?

What is tendonitis in the elbow?

Tendons are the connective tissue between your muscles and your bones. They are robust but flexible, and depending on the location of the body, they can be huge or little. Tendonitis occurs when tendons become inflamed, irritated, or tear microscopically.

Lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow or elbow tendinopathy, is a common kind of tendonitis. Tennis elbow is a condition that produces pain in the back of the elbow and forearm. Damage to the tendons that bend your wrist back and away from the palm of your hand is the cause of this.

What causes tennis elbow?

The portion of a muscle that joins to the bone is called a tendon. The tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the outer bone of the elbow are known as forearm tendons. Tennis elbow is a condition that occurs when the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) muscle in the forearm is injured. The ECRB aids in wrist extension (raising).

Repetitive stress weakens the ECRB muscle, resulting in exceedingly small tears in the tendon where it joins to the outside of the elbow. Inflammation and pain are caused by these tears.

Signs and Symptoms

A widespread discomfort around the elbow joint is the most common symptom, which can generally be narrowed down to one tiny local area that is quite painful on touch. It is especially bad with vigorous use, and the athlete will frequently complain about stiffness and a sensation of swelling after the sport, despite the fact that objectively the swelling is difficult to detect. It’s interesting to note that if the tendonitis is on the inside of the elbow rather than the outside, it’s known as “Golfers’ Elbow.” The “Golfers’ Elbow,” also known as medial epicondylitis, is a less prevalent but equally painful condition.

Who gets tendonitis in the elbow?

Tennis players and other athletes are prone to tendonitis of the elbow. Individuals who engage in other activities that require the forearm, wrist, and/or hand to be used repeatedly and vigorously are also at risk.

Auto repair workers, butchers, cooks, carpenters, painters, and plumbers are all more likely than the typical individual to acquire tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is more common in people between the ages of 30 and 50, but it can strike anyone at any age.

How is tennis elbow diagnosed?

Tennis elbow is typically discovered during a routine medical examination. Your doctor will inquire about your job, sports participation, and the onset of your symptoms. They will then conduct a series of easy tests to aid in the diagnosis. To check for discomfort, your doctor may apply pressure to the area where the tendon joins to the bone. When the elbow is straight and the wrist is flexed (bent toward the palm side), extending (straightening) the wrist causes pain along the outer side of the elbow.

To rule out other conditions that can cause arm discomfort, your doctor may prescribe imaging tests such as an X-ray or an MRI scan. Arthritis of the elbow is one of them. In most cases, these tests aren’t required to make a diagnosis.

Treatments for tendonitis in the elbow

  • Medication – Acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) are two over-the-counter pain relievers that may help relieve discomfort and swelling in the elbow.
  • Rest – Resting your arm for several weeks is the first step in your recuperation. A brace may be prescribed by your doctor to help immobilize the damaged muscles.
  • Ice – Apply a cold pack or ice bag on your elbow with mild pressure for 15 minutes at a time. You can ice up to three times per day.
  • Physical Therapy – A physical therapist will utilize a variety of exercises to strengthen and restore the muscles in your forearm. Arm exercises, ice massage, and muscle-stimulating treatments are examples of these.
  • Steroid Injections – A corticosteroid medicine may be injected directly into the afflicted muscle or where the tendon joins to the bone at the elbow by your doctor. This may aid in the reduction of inflammation.
  • Shock Wave Therapy – This is an experimental treatment in which sound waves are delivered to the elbow to aid the body’s natural healing process. This treatment may or may not be recommended by your doctor.
  • Ultrasound Therapy – An ultrasound probe is put over the most painful spot on your arm during ultrasound therapy. For a predetermined amount of time, the probe sends high-frequency sound waves into the tissues. This form of treatment can aid in the reduction of inflammation and the speeding up of the recovery process.
  • Surgery – If symptoms do not improve after a year of treatment, surgery may be required. You and your doctor can decide whether surgery is necessary to help you feel better.

Are You Looking for Relief From Elbow, Wrist, and Hand Pain? 

Pace Physical Therapy in San Jose, California specializes in non-surgical neck pain relief and recovery therapies.  We pride ourselves on offering the best possible physical therapy available and going above and beyond for our patients. Our highly experienced physical therapist will work with you to improve your function and relieve your pain. We start by assessing the body as a whole. Oftentimes the cause of pain or an injury extends far beyond just the body part or muscle hurting. Without taking a comprehensive look at your entire self, we would be doing you a disservice in fully helping you heal and preventing future limitations. We then move on to fixing your areas of limitation.  Don’t let your quality of life be diminished by elbow, wrist, or hand pain any longer! If you are looking for a San Jose, CA physical therapist, contact Pace Physical Therapy today to make an appointment and meet with one of our committed team members. We would be delighted to get you back to the safe and physically active life that you deserve! Contact us today to schedule your appointment!