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Causes and Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

By Madhusudhan Tammisetti

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, does not occur only in tennis players. Tennis elbow is one of the most common disorders found in patients suffering from elbow pain and is believed to be related to minor tears of the tendons that at the elbow joint connect the forearm muscles to the arm bone.


Tennis elbow happens because there is an issue in a muscle-tendon called the extensor carpi radialis brevis that connects to the elbow joint's outer portion called lateral epicondyle, bringing the medical term lateral epicondylitis to tennis elbow. This tendon is the muscle's binding location that cocks the wrist back.

It's important to remember that the tennis elbow is not just an inflammation of the tendon. Rather, repeated usage may result in incompletely healed small tears inside the tendon. This may lead to wear and tear, and you may feel pain and tenderness at the elbow's outer portion.

Sports participants and manual laborers are the two groups that are extremely susceptible to developing this condition.

Athletes are vulnerable to developing tennis elbow, especially racquet sports players. Approximately a third of the amateur tennis players may develop tennis elbow during their career. You can see tennis elbow symptoms in fencers, golfers, and other sports athletes along with racquet sports.

People whose work involves using their hands most of the times are at higher risk of getting tennis elbow. Plumbers, carpenters, gardeners, and painters are more susceptible to tennis elbow.


The tennis elbow starts as an ache outside the elbow. With time, it gets worse and may become a big burning pain. When you lift, twist, or grip, you may feel pain spreading from the outside of the elbow to the forearm and the back of the neck.

Your grip may loosen as the condition aggravates. You may experience pain when carrying light items, such as a coffee cup or a small book. When you press the outside of the elbow, pain may increase.

Along with the pain, you may have swelling around the elbow joint.

Chiropractic Treatment

Your chiropractor may inquire you about some possible risk factors. Along with the position and severity of the elbow pain, they may ask whether you have engaged in a certain job or sports-related events or endured an elbow injury or trauma.

Your chiropractor may press the elbow at multiple places during the physical examination to check for tenderness. For the tennis elbow, the lateral epicondyle itself normally has tenderness about one centimeter apart.

The chiropractor may suggest stretching exercises to strengthen the forearm muscles. Some other techniques to speed up the healing process and improve muscle function include applying ice or heat packs.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Houston, Tex.

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