Tennis elbow, otherwise medically known as lateral epicondylalgia is a painful, chronic condition associated with symptoms on the lateral side of the elbow. While commonly associated with playing tennis less the 5% of sufferers do in fact play tennis. This injury is often work-related, any activity involving wrist extension, pronation or supination during manual labour, housework and hobbies are considered as important causal factors. Tennis elbow is a relatively common condition that can affect people who preform repetitive movements of the upper body such as painters, carpenters, musicians and computer and I.T. workers. Overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm and elbow together with repetitive gripping or manual tasks can put excess strain on the elbow tendons.
Tennis elbow sufferers will often report weakness in their grip strength or difficulty carrying objects in their hand, especially with the elbow extended. They commonly experience pain and localised tenderness over the lateral elbow.
Tennis players Approximately 40% of people who play tennis on a regular basis have reported a current or previous incidence of elbow pain. Tennis elbow is more common in individuals over 40 with 40% of players describing their symptoms as severe or debilitating.
Risk factors The risk factors for tennis players include:
- A sudden increase in amount of playing time
- Playing on consecutive days
- Change in grip size
- Change in racquet size/weight
- Lack of appropriate strength and condition program
The risk factors for office workers include:
- Poor positioning of keypad/desk/chair
- Repetitive use of mouse
- Prolonged periods of typing
- Poor posture
As with any injury or pain it is very important to first get a professional diagnosis. Once a tennis elbow injury has been identified a comprehensive treatment plan can help reduce recovery time. Manual therapies, exercise prescription and advice regarding posture and technique can all be helpful.
If you have elbow pain or would like any advice please feel free to contact us at our Brighton Clinic.