Tennis Elbow Injuries

Written by Devin Flanigan
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It might be easier if tennis elbow were reserved simply for tennis players, but lateral epicondylitis can strike anyone, regardless of how good they look in white. Overuse is the primary cause of tennis elbow, but repeated motions in almost any sport and many physical activities that are worlds away from the tennis court can trigger it. Even the sedentary can contract tennis elbow through one good swift strike to the elbow via a fall or accident.

The lateral part of lateral epicondylitis refers to the outside of the elbow (if your palms are facing forward), which is where pain and inflammation occur in tennis elbow. This is because that is where the wrist extensor muscles are anchored. Wrist extensors are the muscles you can feel on the top of your forearm when you bend your hand backwards as if to signal "stop."

Golfer's Elbow vs. Tennis Elbow

The opposite of tennis elbow is golfer's elbow, which consists of pain and inflammation of the inside of the elbow. As opposed to tennis, most of the wrist motion in golf brings the palm down and inward, taxing the wrist flexors that can be felt on the underside of your forearm. These flexors anchor themselves to your elbow on the side closer to your body, when standing with palms forward.

Stretching before activity and icing down afterwards can help to prevent elbow injuries, but not eliminate them. Resting and taking time away from the leisure activities that aggravate your elbow is preferable to trying to repair damaged tissue. If your tennis elbow is unavoidable, check with your doctor about anti-inflammatory medications and other suggested remedies.

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