When is elbow pain “tennis elbow”?

What is tennis elbow?

There are a variety of different reasons an elbow may present with pain. Elbow pain that presents on the outside, or lateral side, we refer to as tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is also sometimes called lateral epicondylitis. This pain would be classified as inflammatory, meaning that the body is protecting certain tissues. These inflamed tissues include tendons and/or periosteum, which is the wrapping around the bone, which have been overused, improperly used, or injured. This inflammation that causes pain in the elbow generally begins with tension in the muscles and stress on the tendons. The muscles that are primarily involved are the wrist extensors, the supinator, and the triceps muscles.

How do I have tennis elbow if I don’t play tennis?

The reason for calling it tennis elbow is due to the overuse of certain movements in the forearm and wrist in the game of tennis that leads to a high likelihood of developing elbow pain on the outside of the elbow, or lateral epicondylitis. Playing tennis is not a requirement for this pain. Still, the sport tells us a lot about why this issue may be persisting in the rest of us, as these wrist and forearm movements can appear in many of the tasks that we do in our daily lives. These movement are wrist extension, supination, and forceful, or explosive elbow extension.

What can be done about my tennis elbow?

Before you begin to tackle tennis elbow, its important to understand that tennis elbow is sometimes misdiagnosed. There are an abundant amount of muscles in the shoulder and neck, as well as certain nerves, that might refer that same pain which means that your elbow pain may not be coming from your elbow. This is important since true tennis elbow requires a certain amount of rest and recovery, while other issues may not. It is important to first get a proper diagnosis which can be done by a general practitioner. Once confirmed, a strategy can be implemented that includes rest, recovery, and bodywork.

Regardless of the cause of the pain ignoring the issue will only make it worse! So, if you’re concerned about your elbow pain, book a session or consultation with one of our talented experts and get some answers to your elbow pain!


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