Tennis elbow is a painful condition caused by overuse of the “extensor” muscles in your arm and forearm, specifically your wrist extensors, which causes inflammation to the extensor tendons where they attach at the lateral epicondyle on the outside of the elbow.
Prolonged use of the wrist and hand, such as repetitive gripping tasks, computer use, or operating machinery, and obviously, improper grip while playing tennis, can all lead to tennis elbow. Symptoms can occur in men or women and most commonly affect people between the age of 30 and 50.
Symptoms may include:
-Pain that radiates into your forearm and wrist
-Difficulty doing common tasks, such as turning a doorknob, holding a coffee cup, opening a jar, or gripping fine objects such as a fork or a key
-Stiffness in the elbow and/or weakness in the arm
The difficult part to treating Tennis Elbow is identifying the cause of the problem, not just treating the symptoms. There is a reason why the forearm extensors are becoming overworked and inflamed. More often than not, this is because there is a mechanical restriction in the neck, which is causing a slight weakness in a particular muscle in the arm, in turn causing the wrist extensors to work harder to compensate for that weakness. This is why 99.9% of the time, wearing a “tennis elbow brace” does not work completely. It may make your symptoms feel better while wearing it, but it does not “fix” the problem in the neck.
Here at JGPT, we assess the whole system, not just the affected body part, to help identify the true underlying cause of your symptoms. The majority of our patients see dramatic improvements with their tennis elbow symptoms after just one visit! Call us today to schedule an appointment with a quality manual therapist!