Tennis Elbow – Causes And Symptoms

tennis elbowTennis elbow is also known as lateral epicondylitis. It is a type of tendinitis that causes swelling of the tendons. As a result of swelling you may experience pain in the elbow and the arm. These tendons act as bands of tough tissue which connects the muscles of your lower arm to the bone. Irrespective of its name, you may still get this condition even if you have never been to a tennis court. Any gripping activities which are repetitive that involves the thumb and first two fingers may cause lateral epicondylitis. It can occur in people of any age but is more common at about the age of 40. Tennis elbow is the most common reason for elbow pain.

Tennis Elbow Causes

This condition normally develops over time. Motions which are repetitive such as gripping a racket while swinging may strain the muscles and as a result put too much strain on the tendons. This may finally result in microscopic tears in the tissue.

Some of the causes of tennis elbow are indulging regularly in :

  • Tennis
  • Squash
  • Fencing
  • Weight lifting
  • Racquetball

It may also occur in people with other jobs or hobbies that usually involves gripping or repetitive movements of the arm such as :

  • Typing
  • Knitting
  • Carpentry
  • Raking
  • Painting

Tennis Elbow Symptoms

Common tennis elbow symptoms include pain and tenderness especially in the bony knob which is on the outside of your elbow. This knob is the location where the tendons that are injured connects to the bone. The pain can spread to to the lower or upper arm as well. Even though this condition affects the elbow, it may still hurt while doing things with your hands.

This condition causes most pain when you

  • Open a door
  • Shake hands
  • Lift something
  • Try to grip an object like a tennis racquet
  • Raise your hand

This condition is quite similar to golfer’s elbow. Golfer’s elbow also damages the tendons on the inside of the elbow. In order to diagnose tennis elbow, your doc will have do a thorough physical examination. The doc will check where exactly it hurts when you flex your wrist, arm and elbow. He/She might also ask for imaging tests like MRI or X-ray to diagnose tennis elbow as well as rule out any other problems.

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