Lateral Epicondylitis, also known as TENNIS ELBOW, which surprisingly is not always caused by playing tennis!
What is it?
It is a non-inflammatory degenerative condition of the forearm extensors at their attachment onto the lateral epicondyle of the humerus – the boney bit on the outside of your elbow. It can cause pain at the tendon attachment site, referral pain into the hand and fingers as well as a loss of strength, specifically when trying to grip objects.
What causes it?
As the name suggests, it is most common in tennis players due to the force through the extensor muscles during a backhand swing. However, they are not the only ones who can develop this condition. It is highly common in all racket sports, but also carpenters, painters, mechanics, office workers and even those with hobbies such as knitting! Basically any activity that involves repetitive movements that affects the area – finger extension (typing), force on wrist flexion (tennis or squash backhand) and force on wrist twisting (screwdriver).
On top of this there are other major factors involved such as:
- Shoulder strength
- Muscle balance or imbalance
Some postural issues and muscle imbalances in the upper back, neck and shoulder can also create tightness and restriction into the arm that can mimic the symptoms of tennis elbow. Therefore it is important to have full assessment to confirm the diagnosis.
Recovery from tennis elbow can be slow with rest alone. It requires a proactive approach through diagnosis, manual treatment and a strength program.
Do you have elbow pain or any aches into the lower arm or hand? Contact the clinic today to make an appointment with an Osteopath or Remedial Massage Therapist for an assessment.