Tennis elbow is a condition that causes pain on the outside of the forearm and elbow. The condition affects the muscles and tendons of the forearm and elbow. This muscle group is all the wrist extensor group. These muscles allow for movements to occur at the wrist and elbow. Playing tennis and swinging a tennis racket involves repeated wrist extension movements that commonly cause tennis elbow. A variety of sports and wrist movements can cause tennis elbow other than playing tennis. Tennis elbow is called a variety of other names including:
- Lateral elbow pain
- Extensor tendinopathy
- Extensor tendonitis
- Extensor epicondylitis
- Lateral epicondylalgia
- Extensor epicondylosis.
The majority of tennis elbow cases are due to overuse or repetitive stress injury. One of the forearm muscles called the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle is affected most. This muscle helps stabilise the wrist when the elbow is straight. Repeated stress to this structure (and others) causes changes within the tendon that lead to tennis elbow. This condition is common in tennis players, carpenters, office workers and weight lifters.
The most common symptoms of tennis elbow would include:
- Pain on the outer aspect of the elbow
- Pain when extending the wrist
- Pain when straightening the elbow
- Weak grip strength
- Pain on holding things
Wrist exercises, along with chiropractic and physiotherapy hands-on treatments, will improve the vast majority of patients.