Spotlight on: Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow | Botanic Health Services

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition characterized by pain and inflammation on the outside of the elbow.

As the name indicates, it is commonly associated with tennis players, however, it can occur in anyone who performs repetitive motions or engages in activities that strain the muscles and tendons of the forearm.


Most Common Causes of Tennis Elbow


Repetitive Arm Movements

Engaging in repetitive arm movements, such as those involved in playing tennis, can strain the tendons and muscles around the elbow. This repetitive stress can lead to the development of tennis elbow.

Overuse of Forearm Muscles

Overuse of the forearm muscles, particularly the extensor muscles that help with wrist and finger movements, can contribute to the development of tennis elbow. Activities that involve gripping, twisting, or lifting heavy objects can strain these muscles.


Improper Technique or Equipment

Incorrect technique while playing tennis or using equipment that is not suitable for your skill level or body mechanics can increase the risk of developing tennis elbow. Poor form can place excessive stress on the tendons and muscles around the elbow joint.


Occupational Factors

Certain occupations that involve repetitive arm movements or forceful gripping can contribute to the development of tennis elbow. We often see tennis elbow in carpenters, plumbers, painters, and chefs.


Age and Degenerative Changes

As individuals age, the tendons become less elastic and can degenerate over time. This natural degeneration process can increase the risk of developing tennis elbow, even with minimal repetitive movements.


Sudden Intense Activities

Engaging in sudden, intense activities that place excessive stress on the forearm muscles and tendons can lead to tennis elbow. This can occur during activities like weightlifting or participating in sports that involve rapid, forceful arm movements.


It’s important to note that while these factors are commonly associated with tennis elbow, the condition can develop due to a combination of factors and individual circumstances.

If you suspect you have tennis elbow or are experiencing persistent elbow pain, it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.