Like most older tennis players, I have suffered with tennis elbow many times. Tennis elbow is caused by repetitive stress to the tendons of the wrist extensor muscles, just below the elbow. The injury is called "Tennis Elbow" because the majority of cases are caused by the sport of tennis. For tennis players tennis elbow may be caused by:
= A poor backhand technique in tennis
= A racket grip that is too small
= Strings that are too tight
= Playing with wet, heavy balls
Tennis elbow is also often caused by overuse or repetitive strain caused by repeated extension (bending back) of the wrist against resistance. In addition to various racket sports, it is also common after periods of excessive wrist use in day-to-day life. My current case of tennis elbow was caused by an over zealous racket stringer that changed to different strings and a higher string tension without telling me.
Symptoms of tennis elbow are:
= Pain about just down from bony area at the outside of the elbow
= Weakness in the wrist with difficulty doing simple tasks such as opening a door handle or shaking hands with someone
= Pain on the outside of the elbow when the hand is bent back (extended) at the wrist against resistance
= Pain on the outside of the elbow when trying to straighten the fingers against resistance
There are two ways you may notice the onset of tennis elbow.
: Sudden onset of tennis elbow occurs in a single instance of exertion such as a late back hand where the extensors of the wrist become strained. This most probably corresponds to micro-tearing of the tendon.
: This normally takes place within 24-72 hours after a period of unaccustomed wrist extension. Examples may be a tennis player using a new racket or even a person who's spent a weekend doing "do it yourself" projects around the house. Examples would be using hammers, screwdrivers or heavy power tools.
In the next blog I will review the recommended treatments and rehabilitation for tennis elbow.
About the Author:
Bruce is the president of Return2Fitness.net, an online sports medical resource and product center. His "entrepreneurial spirit" has resulted in the founding or acquisition of 20 companies during his 39 year career. Bruce is not a medical professional so please consult your local specialist before making any changes in the treatment of any injury or condition.
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