Tennis Elbow

The US Open is upon us and tennis injuries come to mind. Lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, is the most common painful condition of the elbow. This occurs not only in tennis players, but also in anyone who performs repeated resisted motions of the wrist.

Inflammation and pain occur on the outer side of the elbow where muscles and tendons attach to the bone. The wrist extensor muscles are the structures involved. It can be caused by chronic repetitive stress and strain to the muscles, sudden change in activity level or intensity, incorrect grip, incorrect technique, or using a tool or racket that is too heavy.

The symptoms include pain and tenderness on the outer side of the elbow, pain or weakness with gripping activities, pain with twisting motions of the wrist (tennis swing, using a screwdriver, etc), or pain with lifting objects with the involved hand. The risk increases when the individual has poor strength and flexibility, does not warm-up before work or play, and there is a resumption of activity before healing and rehabilitation are complete.

Treatment includes anti-inflammatory medication, ice, stretching, strengthening exercises, and activity modification. A counterforce tennis elbow brace may be recommended. Cortisone injections and surgery are more advanced treatment options if the problem persists. Prevention is the key by warming up and stretching before work or activity, maintaining flexibility and strength, using proper equipment, proper technique, and utilizing counterforce bracing when necessary.

See the attached article for more details on tennis elbow causes, treatments, and preventative stretches and strengthening exercises: Tennis Elbow Info

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