What is Epicondylitis?
Epicondylitis is a condition that causes damage to tendons in the elbow due to repetitive movements over time. Golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow are two types of epicondylitis that can occur in individuals who participate in either sport or other common arm motions repeatedly. If left untreated, epicondylitis can lead to significant pain and weakness in the hand and arm, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks. Thankfully, Dr. Christopher Williams in Atlanta, GA offers various treatment options to help alleviate the symptoms of both golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow, allowing you to live more comfortably and return to the activities you enjoy. Learn more about epicondylitis by contacting Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Williams.
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What are Symptoms of Epicondylitis?
While the most prevalent symptoms of epicondylitis include weakness and pain in the hands and arms, other common side effects may include:
- Difficulty gripping objects
- Tenderness on and around the elbow area
- Difficulty lifting heavy objects or raising your arm above your head
- Inability to perform simple, everyday tasks
When epicondylitis begins to affect your day-to-day lifestyle, it may be time to seek out medical attention from a professional, such as Dr. Williams. In order to properly diagnose the condition, he will conduct a series of physical and imaging tests, such as x-rays and an MRI, to rule out any other conditions.
What Causes Epicondylitis?
The main cause of epicondylitis is repetitive movement, such as playing golf or tennis. Continuous motions can place an increased amount of stress on the tendons, which could lead to small tears in the tissue. Additionally, certain individuals who complete repetitive tasks for their occupation can be at a higher risk of getting epicondylitis. During your comprehensive consultation at our Atlanta, GA facility, Dr. Williams will be able to determine if you are suffering from epicondylitis or a different condition, such as tendinitis, since the two may have similar symptoms.
What is the best treatment for epicondylitis?
Several treatment options are available for treating epicondylitis and its associated symptoms. After performing the proper diagnostic testing, Dr. Williams will create a treatment plan specifically for you and your needs. Depending on the extent and severity of the condition, Dr. Williams may initially recommend physical therapy or anti-inflammatory medication. For more extensive cases of epicondylitis, prolotherapy, platelet-rich plasma therapy, or a TENEX ultrasound procedure can be more beneficial to treating your symptoms. Prior to recommending any form of treatment, Dr. Williams will let you know what you can expect and talk with you about any need for follow-up procedures in order to maintain results.
How is Epicondylitis Diagnosed?
Tennis elbow can usually be diagnosed with a simple physical exam. However, some patients will need to undergo additional testing — like an X-ray or MRI — so our staff can get a better look at the elbow joint. This lets us know if epicondylitis is, indeed, the cause of the discomfort or if it might be another underlying condition, such as arthritis.
Who is most at risk of developing tennis elbow?
Anyone who plays sports or engages in repetitive motions can be at risk of developing tennis elbow; however, people who are 40+ years old are at a higher risk of developing epicondylitis.
Can non-tennis players also get tennis elbow?
If you have the symptoms of epicondylitis but are not a tennis player, it's still possible to have tennis elbow. This condition only gets its name due to the muscle groups involved. People who play other sports or have careers that require repetitive motions in the wrist and arm may also develop epicondylitis at some point. These include painters, carpenters, and men and women who frequently work with their hands.
Is it possible for epicondylitis to go away without treatment?
Mild cases of tennis elbow can go away on their own. However, if your symptoms worsen or persist over time, it's best to get checked out by a professional. Untreated pain can impact your quality of life and prevent you from certain activities. Instead of "waiting" for the problem to resolve by itself, Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta can offer comprehensive solutions and help you find pain relief for good.
Does tennis elbow require surgery?
Some cases of epicondylitis can be resolved through surgery. Surgery may be necessary for patients who haven't responded to nonsurgical treatments, but it shouldn't be your first step. Our clinic offers minimally invasive solutions — so you don't have to undergo surgery or extended time in recovery. This means can return to the activities you love even sooner.
How can I help prevent tennis elbow?
- Stop activities when you feel pain – don't "push through" the pain
- Strengthen forearms and wrists with weight lifting and exercise
- Stretch wrists and forearms before any sports or activity
- Wear a brace
Get relief for your epicondylitis
Epicondylitis can be a painful condition that keeps you from enjoying your life and the activities you love. At Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta, Dr. Christopher Williams will formulate a treatment plan to help alleviate your symptoms. Contact our Atlanta, GA facility to schedule an initial consultation and get one step closer to pain relief.