Tennis Elbow: Symptoms and Causes

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Tennis elbow is a very common condition that affects millions of people every year and can be caused by a number of different reasons.

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow occurs as a result of repetitive motions of the arm, elbow and relevant tendons and muscles, hence the name, because tennis and other similar sports include the constant use of the extensor muscles in that part of the body. Scientifically known as lateral epicondylitis, this condition afflicts millions of people with a sore and tender area on the outside of the elbow. When strenuous motions are repeated over time, it can cause wear and damage to the muscles, as well as tenderness. This condition can also affect manual laborers, such as construction workers or carpenters.

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Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

Some of the most common symptoms of this condition include:

  • Localized pain in the wrist and elbow
  • Weakness in the muscles used for gripping objects and extending your arm
  • Sharp, lancing pain in the elbow when performing simple tasks, such as turning a doorknob or carrying heavy objects

Causes of Tennis Elbow

More specifically, tennis elbow can be caused by a number of specific events. Lets a look at them:

  • Overexertion over time: Microscopic and macroscopic tears can form in the muscles and tendons of the forearm, specifically due to the repetitive forceful activity of striking the ball, swinging a hammer, etc.
  • Sudden pull or twist: Sometimes, a single forceful pull, unnatural twist, or unexpected blow to the area can also cause tennis elbow to develop, and from there, repeated exertion makes those small tears larger and more painful, eventually leaving one unable to perform the task.

How To Prevent Tennis Elbow?

There are a number of ways to prevent tennis elbow from developing, beyond avoiding the activities and motions that led to the condition in the first place. You can strengthen the relevant muscles with alternative exercises, use proper protective and supportive equipment, and avoid using those muscles for other common tasks.

If you fail to allow the tears to heal, by resting the muscle and taking a break from the activity, the condition can worsen to the point of debilitation. Always seek the advice of your doctor before using any home remedies or starting rehabilitation exercises.

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