FORM Hand, Wrist & Elbow Institute

Do You Have Tennis Elbow?

If you play tennis, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll end up with a tennis elbow. The condition can happen to anyone with repeated wrist and arm usage. It causes inflammation of the tendons that join forearm muscles to the outside of the elbow—also called lateral elbow pain or lateral epicondylitis. The condition can affect around 1% to 3% of the US population aged 30-50. Even a tiny tear in the tendon can lead to a tennis elbow. The most common tennis elbow symptom is recurring pain on the outside of the upper forearm; you can also feel the pain further down the arm. While lifting, bending, twisting, or extending your arm, you will likely experience pain. Even writing or gripping objects can lead to pain. 

Using incorrect tennis techniques for swinging the racquet to rotate through and around the wrist can lead to tennis elbow. It creates movement on the wrist rather than the elbow or shoulder. While some of the other causes of tennis elbow are:

               ·         You may likely develop from daily activities like using scissors

               ·         Cutting through tough food

               ·         Swimming

               ·         Gardening

               ·         Sports that include throwing activity

               ·         Manual activities such as plumbing, typing, etc.

Did you know you can easily find out if you have tennis elbow at home? You can stand behind a chair and place your hands on top of the chair with straight elbows and downward-facing palms. Then try to lift the chair. If you experience pain outside the elbow, you most likely have a tennis elbow.

There are several ways to find out if you have the condition. The doctor will perform a physical examination of your range of motion before asking about the location and nature of the condition. Then conduct an x-ray or MRI to determine the exact condition and rule out other severe conditions like arthritis or joint injury. MRI can help with a detailed image of the arm’s soft tissues, muscles, and tendons. If you have tennis elbow, you should rest as it is crucial. Rest allows tears to heal. Athletes and tennis players use ice, anti-inflammatory drugs, massages, stretching exercises, and ultrasound therapy to aid recovery.

If you experience pain outside the elbow, you may reach out to The FORM Hand and schedule a consultation at  (510) 480-3700. For your convenience, you may also request a consultation online and get an appointment the next day.