In Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a type of tendinitis, the patient often presents with a painful elbow. It is a painful overuse ailment that affects the tendons that connect the muscles that govern the wrist and fingers to the lateral epicondyle, a bony protrusion on the elbow. The tendons in this area are engaged in arm actions that bend or twist the wrist. Repetitive action can cause muscle strain and tendons to be overworked. The continual straining on the tissue can eventually produce microscopic tears.
Tennis Elbow is often the result of overuse and contraction of the forearm muscles, which are used to straighten and lift your hand and wrist. The tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the bony prominence on the outside of your elbow may rupture as a result of repeated motions and tissue stress. When the extensor tendon, which connects the outside of the elbow to the forearm, becomes inflamed, it causes this condition. Some of the risk factors may include:
- Age – While tennis elbow can affect people of all ages, both men and women. However, it is generally seen in 40 yrs and above
- Improper Technique - Not warming up before strenuous activity or Improper use of sports equipment or Poor athletic technique can result in an elbow injury for sports people. Apart from tennis it is commonly observed in swinging sports like golf, baseball and cricket.
- Occupation – Contrary to popular belief the ailment is not only seen in sports people but also is more common in people who work in jobs that require repeated wrist and arm motions. Plumbers, painters, carpenters, butchers, and cooks are just a few examples.
The patient commonly presents with pain and tenderness in the elbow. Mostly the pain radiates to the forearm. Although the injury is to the elbow, it is likely that you may experience pain when using your hands. Lateral Epicondylitis is near debilitating for tennis players while generally just a small nuisance for other athletes and non-athletes.Any twisting movement can aggravate the pain making the daily routine as a diffcult task. Most painful movements include:
- Turning a doorknob
- Straightening your wrists
- Opening a door
- Shaking Hands
Tennis elbow is comparable to golfer's elbow, a disorder affecting the tendons on the inside of the elbow.