The pain arises as a result of irritation of the extensor muscles and tendons of the forearm usually due an overuse type of scenario. Yes, tennis may be one of those scenarios, however other common activities such as throwing, manual labour which requires a lot of repetitive activities, especially twisting of the forearm, and even golf.
"Now wait a second -- I have tennis elbow because of golf, that doesn't make sense. Shouldn't I have golfers elbow?"
- Not necessarily. As mentioned above, tennis elbow as a general term for lateral epicondylitis, just as golfers elbow is a term for medial epicondylitis. Lateral epicondylitis is more commonly associated with tennis, just as golf is more commonly associated with medial epicondylitis but neither activity is solely exclusive to one condition or the other.
"How do I know if I have tennis elbow other than pain in lateral elbow area?"
There are a couple quick questions you can ask yourself:
1. Age - lateral epicondylitis is more common in 40-60 year olds
2. Recent activity - Have I done any activity involving my arms recently which I don't normally do or haven't done in a while?
3. The Chair Test - standing at the back of a kitchen chair; place your hands on the back with your palms facing down. Grab the chair and try to lift it. If this causes pain it is a good indicator you may have tennis elbow.
These are just a few questions that may prompt your MD, Chiropractor, or Physiotherapist to suspect tennis elbow however they may ask you much more and perform a physical exam.
"Ok, so I suspect I have tennis elbow, now what?"
The benefits of making an appointment to have it evaluated are:
1. Assessing your pain for other possible causes like arthritis, joint abnormalities, and fracture to name a few.
2. Providing you with care and education that will speed your recovery.
3. Provide you with other options for care should it be required.
Remember, the pain can last from 6-12 weeks so be patient. Conservative care can yield excellent results, you just have to stick with it.
If you would like more information it is available on the Dynamic Motion Facebook page.
Thank you for reading.