Tennis Elbow - Symptoms & Causes

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition affecting the tendons on the outer portion of the elbow. It's caused by overuse of the forearm muscles.

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Tennis Elbow Causes

Tennis elbow is an overuse injury. It arises from repetitive or strenuous activities, leading to tiny tears and inflammation near your elbow's lateral epicondyle.

Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Repetitive Motions:

Activities like typing, especially with poor ergonomic setups, can strain your forearm muscles. This is a common issue for people in desk-based or physical jobs.

  • Impact Injuries:

Direct knocks to your elbow might sometimes start the onset of tennis elbow, causing inflammation in the surrounding tissues.

  • Strenuous Unfamiliar Activities:

Engaging in new, physically demanding tasks, like intense gardening or DIY projects, can place unexpected strain on your forearm muscles.

  • Racket Sports:

Although tennis elbow is associated with racket sports, surprisingly few cases are directly linked to them. The risk does increase, however, if you play these sports intensively after a long hiatus.

  • Other Activities:

Fine, repetitive hand and wrist movements or activities involving frequent elbow bending can also contribute to the development of tennis elbow.

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Tennis Elbow Symptoms

Tennis elbow symptoms might begin subtly and gradually intensify.

Initially, you might experience pain or a burning sensation along the outside of your forearm and elbow. Over time, if the triggering activity continues, this pain could spread down to your wrist, even when at rest. You might notice an unusual discomfort when lifting or gripping small objects like a pen or your phone, tasks that were once effortless. You might also experience a noticeable weakening in your grip strength.

Remember, tennis elbow symptoms may vary and mimic other medical conditions. It's crucial to consult your healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis.


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