What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis Elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is characterized by pain in the back side of the elbow and forearm, along the thumb side when the arm is alongside the body with the thumb turned away. The pain is caused by damage to the tendons that bend the wrist backward away from the palm. A tendon is a tough cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones.

What causes Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow, as the name implies, often is caused by the force of the tennis racket hitting balls in the backhand position. The forearm muscles, which attach to the outside of the elbow, may become sore from excessive strain. When making a backhand stroke in tennis, the tendons that roll over the end of the elbow can become damaged. Tennis elbow may be caused by the following;

  • improper backhand stroke
  • weak shoulder and wrist muscles
  • using a too tightly strung or too short tennis racket
  • hitting the ball o center on the racket or hitting heavy, wet balls
  • painting with a brush or roller
  • operating a chain saw
  • frequent use of other hand tools on a continuous basis

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