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Tennis Elbow / Definition and causes

Tennis Elbow / Definition and causes

Hello everyone,
Today we are going to talk about Tennis Elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis. 
Tennis elbow is an orthopedic condition in which the outer part of the elbow becomes painful and tender on touch. Lifting, carrying, gripping and sometimes every movement in the fingers and wrist cause pain in the outer part of the elbow. Grip becomes weak because of the pain. In chronic conditions, pain extends to the back of the forearm and arm. Full extension of the elbow also becomes painful in severe condition. 
In fact, Tennis Elbow is an inflammation of the tendons which are attached to the outer parts of the elbow. These tendons belong to a group of the muscles which are coming down to the back of the wrist and the fingers. They are responsible to open the fist, extend the fingers and the wrist back. 
As you may have guessed it happens when we put too much pressure to these muscles during lifting heavy objects and/or lifting repetitively. Some other activities such as excessive typing and playing piano also cause the same issue. As you can see, it does not happen just in tennis players. 
The best self-test to find out if you have tennis elbow is stretching out your arm and grip tightly and strongly, if you have pain in outer part of your elbow and/or you feel weakness in your grip you may have tennis elbow and you need to do something for it as soon as possible. Remember that radiating pain from the neck is sometimes confused with tennis elbow. So, if besides the elbow pain, you also feel also pain in your neck or the elbow pain gets worse with some neck movements, referral and radiating pain from the neck vertebrae must be ruled out by your family physician or your physiotherapist. 
Keep in your mind that repetitive inflammation in tendons causes calcium to be deposited on the tendon which in turns causes more pain and makes the treatment longer and harder. 
In the Next session we will talk about the treatment and how we can address tennis elbow.  
Stay safe,

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