Despite its name, athletes aren’t the only people who can develop tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is a painful condition that occurs when the tendons in your elbow are overloaded, usually by repetitive movements of the wrist and arm. It is a repetitive stress injury caused by overuse.
Doctors know the condition as lateral epicondylitis, and even though only a small grow of people who play Tennis are affected by the condition (less than 5% of cases are linked to tennis), the term has gotten widespread use. Lateral epicondylitis affects up to 3% of the global population, usually affecting adults between 30 and 50 years of age. Lateral epicondylitis is a common injury that usually heals with time and rest, and it is only for a particular group of people that surgery is needed. People whose jobs stress the types of movements that can lead to tennis elbow include plumbers, painters, carpenters, and butchers.
Relating to the muscles and tendons in your forearm. Tennis elbow is an overuse and muscle strain injury. The discomfort of tennis elbow occurs primarily where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the outside of your elbow. The pain can sometimes spread into your forearm and wrist. When you continuously move your arm in a repetitive motion, the tendons at the elbow end of the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) muscle develop small tears. As the name suggests, playing tennis is one possible cause of tennis elbow. However, many other everyday arm motions can cause tennis elbow, including:
- Using plumbing tools
- Driving screws
- Cutting up cooking ingredients, mainly meat
- Repetitive use of a computer mouse
Factors that may increase your risk of tennis elbow include:
Age: While tennis elbow affects people of all ages, it’s most common in adults between the ages of 30 and 50.
Profession: Jobs involving repetitive motions of the wrist and arm are more likely to develop tennis elbow. Examples are plumbers, painters, carpenters, butchers, and cooks.
Certain sports: Participating in sports that require you to use a racket or bat increases your risk of tennis elbow, primarily if you employ poor technique.
Your doctor will require you to complete specific actions to ascertain whether you have tennis elbow. These include straightening your wrist against pressure and checking for pain in parts of your arm. He may also require you to go for an MRI scan. Tennis elbow can usually be treated with exercise, physical therapy, rest and medications.