Tennis Elbow And Its Causes

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a chronic condition of progressive pain on the outside of the elbow and is known to be troublesome to treat. This usually occurs due to activities that require repeating wrist extension, which eventually damages the muscles and tendons in the forearm.

Repeated movements and twisting are common causes

Various types of racquet sports are  common causes for the condition. However, this is also a common issue among craftsmen, cooks and office employees, and there are multiple other activities that can put you in risk such as golf or any other sport that involves twisting your wrist and using the muscles in your forearms.

Tennis Elbow affects the muscles and tendons

Lateral epicondylitis is most common for people between the ages of 30 and 50 and it involves the muscles and tendons in the forearm which extend the wrist and fingers. The overuse of these muscles eventually create damage where the tendons in the forearm, also known as extensors, attach the muscles to the bones on the outside of the elbow, which is called the lateral epicondyle. The extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) is the tendon which is usually involved when suffering from a tennis elbow . Microscopic tears  (which may be caused by overuse) where the tendon attaches to the lateral epicondyle occurs. The location of the muscle causes it to rub against bony bumps, gradually wearing on the tendon over time. The ECRB muscle’s function is to stabilize the wrist when the elbow is straight.

Lack of grip strength and pain are common symptoms

Some of the symptoms that may indicate that you have the condition can be: lack of grip strength and pain or burning on the outside of the elbow. The trouble is aggravated through any activity that involves your forearm, such as brushing your teeth, lifting, writing or computer work. One of the main reasons for obtaining a tennis elbow is due to the equipment being used in the undertaken activity. Improper techniques, smoking and obesity are also risk factors in the general population for the development of this condition.

Nonsurgical treatments are usually sufficient

The natural course of the tennis elbow has a recovery period of one to two years in 80-90% of cases. Even though surgical treatments for this condition have a high success rate, approximately 80-95% of patients reach a positive result with nonsurgical treatments. Some of these involve steroids injections and anti-inflammatory medicines, although studies have shown that most cases are improved in the long term when given information and agronomical advice regarding their condition. This could include stretching or simply choosing a stiffer/looser-strung racquet, which can reduce stress on your forearm and may prevent the symptoms from recurring. Rehband’s Basic Epi Support or Tennis Elbow Support. Allows for patients with this condition to continue the activities despite pain and inflammation. Through taking pressure of the ECRB and other tendons in the forearm these braces also provide healing features in the form of heat, compression, stability and pain relief. Most of our products have individual adjustment options, which allows for perfect comfort.

Sources

Bisset, L., Beller, E., Jull, G., Brooks, P., Darnell, R., & Vicenzino, B. (2006). Mobilisation with movement and exercise, corticosteroid injection, or wait and see for tennis elbow: randomised trial. Bmj, 333(7575), 939.

Buchanan, B., & Hughes, J. (2017). Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis).

Orthoinfo, Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis). By the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

Sanders Jr, T. L., Maradit Kremers, H., Bryan, A. J., Ransom, J. E., Smith, J., & Morrey, B. F. (2015). The epidemiology and health care burden of tennis elbow: a population-based study. The American journal of sports medicine, 43(5), 1066-1071.

Spang, C., & Alfredson, H. (2017). Richly innervated soft tissues covering the superficial aspect of the extensor origin in patients with chronic painful tennis elbow–Implication for treatment? Journal of musculoskeletal & neuronal interactions, 17(2), 97.

 

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