Tennis Elbow

22 Aug 2019
Health Articles
Event

Lateral epicondylitis is a painful condition that develops with the overuse of our elbow by repetitive motion of our wrist and arm. The condition common among tennis player, and therefore it is also called Tennis Elbow. In actual fact, the condition is not “exclusive” to tennis player only. Everyone who overuse the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis (ECRB) muscle and tendon are at high risk of developing the symptom. We will cover the high-risk group later on.

Symptoms

The symptoms for Tennis elbow seldom appear overnight. The discomfort develops gradually over the period of weeks and at one point of time people will start to realize the pain become unbearable. 

The pain or burning sensation is usually at the outside of your elbow. In most of the case, it is accompanied by losing grip strength. 

You may notice difficulty when you shake hands or grips an object, hold a cup of coffee, or turn a door knob.
 
Causes

Being a type of repetitive strain injuries (RSI), the Tennis elbow is very much related to the overuse of (ECRB) muscle and tendon. The muscle is responsible to stabilize the wrist when we straighten our elbow. When we overuse our ECRB, the tendon connecting to lateral epicondyle may form micro tear. This causes inflammation. The inflammation leads to pain and weakness. 

The ECRB is positioned near the bony bump of our elbow. During repeated high intensity activities, the rubbing of the muscle against the bump of our elbow increase the risk of irritation. 
 
Sport activities such as tennis and table tennis prone to have this condition. Painters, plumbers, carpenter, and butchers are also on the high-risk group as they use their arms a lot. The repetitive and weight resistant nature of their occupation put them at high risk.

Prevention

The root cause of Tennis elbow is repetitive strain, and the pain usually develop over a long period and hard to detect. 
 
The most effective way to preventing Tennis Elbow would be mindful with your elbow if your daily activities involves a lot of repetitive movement on your elbow. It is always a best practice to warm up your muscle before carrying out such activities. Gently stretch your arms after you warm up may help to reduce the risk of injuries. 
 
When you are carrying weight, spread your load to the larger muscle group of your arm rather than overstressing on your wrist and elbow. Make good use of your upper arm and your shoulders. 

If you already have Tennis Elbow, find alternate movement to replace the ones that causing your pain. You should reduce irritating the muscle and tendon further. If possible, get a resting period and stop doing the sport/ activities until the symptoms subsides. Replace it with lighter activities to maintain your muscle strength. 
 
Finally, you may want to visit your nearest integrated chiropractor who has the latest technology to help you reduce the pain and inflammation and increase cell proliferation to improve your healing speed. If you are in Penang, you can always make appointment with Zen Chiropractic.