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Understanding Tennis Elbow: Causes and Syptoms

Understanding Tennis Elbow: Causes and Symptoms

With Wimbledon finally here and many of you inspired to test out your serve, we thought it would be a good time to delve into one of the most common injuries associated with the sport: Tennis Elbow. Of course, you don’t have to be a frequent player on the court to suffer from tennis elbow. In fact, you don’t even need to play tennis at all.

Tennis elbow is simply an elbow tendinopathy, a condition where the tendons around your elbow become irritated. This irritation happens mainly because of repetitive movement or a sudden increase in the load on the tendon. The tendon most affected is called the ‘common extensor tendon’, which is responsible for the movement of several muscles. When overworked, this tendon can become irritated, causing pain.

Are you suffering from Elbow Pain?

Common activities that can lead to tennis elbow include lifting heavy objects like saucepans or shopping bags, digging in the garden, or even just clenching your fist. If you experience pain on the bony point on the outside of your elbow, especially when performing these activities, it could be a sign of tennis elbow. This pain can range from a dull ache to a sharp pain when you touch the area or use your arm.

The main cause of tennis elbow pain is increased loading on the tendon that runs from the lateral epicondyle (the bony point on the outside of your elbow) to your wrist. This load can stress the tendon and even lead to a breakdown of the tendon’s structure, resulting in elbow tendinopathy.

Various activities can trigger tennis elbow symptoms, such as playing tennis, gardening, repetitive lifting, moving house, or starting a new, heavier gym workout. When the tendon is overloaded, it places stress on its attachment to the bone, which can deteriorate the tendon matrix and cause pain.

Other factors can also influence the pain associated with tennis elbow. These include the shoulder girdle, which consists of the shoulder joint and shoulder blade. The function of your rotator cuff, your shoulder movements, and your habitual postures can all impact the health of your shoulder complex. Weakness in this area can lead to additional stress on your elbow joint, contributing to tennis elbow pain.

Are You Suffering from Tennis Elbow?

Understanding these causes can help you manage and prevent tennis elbow, whether you’re on the court or simply going about your daily activities. If you experience persistent elbow pain, it’s essential to consult with an expert to assess and address any underlying issues.

Check out our blog below, where we have 4 top tips to help resolve your tennis elbow pain.

Top 4 Tips to Resolve Your Tennis Elbow Pain