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Can Tennis Elbow Cause Tingling In Hand?

Tennis elbow[1] is a painful disorder of elbows that occurs due to inflammation of the tendons and muscles that connect elbow joint with the forearm. It is medically known as lateral epicondylitis. This condition develops due to any activity that causes overuse and strain of the muscles of the forearm. The common activities that can trigger this condition are manual labor, cutting, knitting, raking, typing, plumbing and playing racquet sports. It is common in the middle age group between 30 to 50 years. The symptoms of tennis elbow are the pain in the lateral side of elbow extending to forearm, weakness, soreness, and stiffness in the forearm.

Can Tennis Elbow Cause Tingling In Hand?

Can Tennis Elbow Cause Tingling In Hand?

Tennis elbow is a painful inflammatory condition of the muscles and tendons supporting the elbow joint caused by repetitive over straining of the forearm. The pain and weakness in the forearm is the common symptom of the condition. Tennis elbow can also induce numbness and tingling in the hand.

The elbow joint is connected to the forearm by muscles and tendons. The muscles and tendons are joined to the bones to provide strength and mobility to the forearm. These muscles are mainly extensor muscles of the forearm. The repetitive incorrect action of the wrist can cause small tears in the muscles and tendons of the forearm. It also leads to the inflammation of the tendons and muscles.[2]

The pain depends upon the damage happened to the muscles and tendons. The nerves present in this area may get compressed due to an inflammatory condition of the muscles and tendons. With the time, the muscles and tendons become thick and irregular with the deposition of the scar tissues on them. Without proper rest and adequate healing, it may cause permanent damage to the tendons.

Yes, tennis elbow can cause numbness and tingling in the hand as the nerves in this area may get pinched or entrapped due to swelling in this area. The ulnar nerve is the most common nerve that gets pinched or compressed in this area.

The symptoms of tennis elbow are-[3]

  • Tennis elbows start with mild pain and tenderness over the elbow joint.
  • The pain becomes worse when the hands are used to perform any work.
  • Pain radiates from the elbow to the forearm and wrist.
  • The pain gets worse with the time and it becomes so severe that pain is felt even when the forearm is still
    • Pain is felt worst while
    • Bending or lifting your arm
    • Writing or gripping small objects like pen
    • Holding cup
    • Twisting the forearm like turning a handle of the door or opening a jar.
    • Extending the arm
    • Shaking hands
    • Squeezing an object
  • Soreness in the muscles of the forearm.
  • Stiffness in the elbow in the morning.
  • Numbness and tingling in hands.
  • Weakness in the elbow.

Tennis elbow can happen in both the hands but it is likely to affect the arm which is used most. The symptoms become worse with the damage until the causative activity is ceased. It is a self-limiting condition. Depending on the damage, recovery can occur in between six months to two years.

Diagnosis of tennis elbow is established by simple physical examination. However, X ray, CT scan or MRI scan can be done to rule out severe damage or injury to the affected elbow. MRI scan is performed to get the details of soft tissues, muscles, and tendons of the arm.[4]

Tennis elbow gets cured by itself. It can recover itself in 6 months to 2 years. However, medical treatment will be helpful to manage the condition earlier in the more efficient way. Resting the arm, physiotherapy, cold application, medicines like painkillers, anti-inflammatory medicines, application of splint, steroid injections, shock wave therapy and surgery (in worst cases) can treat the condition.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 14, 2020

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