Tennis elbow (lateral), golfer's elbow (medial)
What is Lateral or Medial Epicondylitis?
An irritation or degeneration of the tendons at the elbow.
Areas of Body Directly Affected:
Ache or pain along the outside (lateral) or inside (medial) of the elbow. The injury occurs where the large muscles in the forearm (the muscles that move the wrist) attach to the bones at the elbow. Pinching, gripping, or extreme bending of the wrist worsens the symptoms. The pain may be accompanied by swelling.
May include a brief period of use of anti-inflammatory agents, such as Motrin or ibuprofen. A forearm band (tennis elbow band) or wrist splint may help by reducing the force to the tendon. Physical therapy can help by instructing in appropriate use of the hands, use of ice, and gentle wrist stretching exercises for home. Injections with steriod medication may be useful. Reducing forceful gripping or pinching tasks at home and work can also help. Once the pain is intermittent and not severe, the therapist can instruct on appropriate strengthening with light weights and wrist curls. If very severe and unresponsive to all of these measures, after they have been tried for many months, surgery may be considered.
Modifying Computer Work
Try to work so that the wrist is in a neutral, straight position. Avoid rapid wrist motions such as rapid motions of the mouse by the wrist or rapid flicks of the wrist when keying. Reduce pinch force on the mouse or repeated clicking; eliminate the drag maneuver on the mouse. Try using a different pointing device (trackball or touch pad) or a different keyboard.
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