Tennis elbow, or medically known as lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition that develops when tendons in your elbow are overloaded. It usually happens due to repetitive motions of the arm or wrist.

Despite its name, tennis players are not the only people who develop this condition. People whose works feature the repetitive motions that can cause tennis elbow include plumbers, butchers, painters, and carpenters. 

What Are The Common Symptoms?

The typical pain of tennis elbow occurs primarily where the tendons of your elbow attach to a bony projection on the outside of your forearm muscles. The pain may radiate from the outside of your elbow tendons into your forearm and wrist. The elbow pain and tenderness may make it difficult to:

  • Hold a coffee cup
  • Grip an object or shake hands
  • Turn a doorknob

Talk to your physician if self-care steps such as rest, use of over-the-counter pain relievers and ice massage don't ease your symptoms.

What Are The Common Causes Of Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is a condition that develops due to the overuse of forearm muscles and strain injury. The underlying cause is repeated contraction of the muscles that you use to raise your hand and wrist or straighten your arm. The stress and repeated motions to the tissue may result in tiny tears in the elbow tendons.

As its name suggests, repeated use of the backhand stroke while playing tennis is one of the possible causes of tennis elbow. However, several other arm motions can cause tennis elbow, such as:

  • Repetitive computer mouse use
  • Using plumbing tools
  • Driving screws
  • Painting

How Is Tennis Elbow Treated?

Your physician may ask you to do simple actions to evaluate whether you have tennis elbow. These include checking for pain in parts of your arm by straightening your wrist against pressure. He may also request an MRI scan to confirm the diagnosis.

Most cases of tennis elbow don't require medical or surgical intervention and can be addressed by doing self-care steps such as rest, ice massage, and use of over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), aspirin, and naproxen (Aleve). Professionals suggest exercise, and physical therapy to subside the associated symptoms and stimulate the healing process.