FAQ057: What is "tennis elbow"?

Tennis elbow doesn’t just affect Tennis Players!

Tennis elbow, also called lateral epicondylitis, osis and algia (it can be very confusing) is an overuse injury of some of the muscles in the forearm. It is a repetitive strain injury that can be a result of tennis … obviously but also repetitive movements such as typing. In tennis players, it is the back swing that happens when they are on the courts in conjunction with the weight of the racket and the force they are applying. For many of the people that I see in the physiotherapy clinic, tennis elbow is related to a lot of grip work and typing. It is often a work related injury.

The muscles in the top of the forearm are responsible for wrist extension. If we are spending a lot of time at the computer with our wrists bent back, this is a lot of work for these smaller muscles. It can lead to an overuse injury!

Many people feel this on the outside part of the elbow. It is usually a little bit better in the morning and tends to get worse throughout the day or worse with activity.

For some of my athletes, it is related to a lot of gripping movements whether it be holding onto barbells, hanging from rings or just doing too much too quickly.

Speaking to a physiotherapist about this can give you some tips and tricks to keep the pain at bay as well as help with some of the symptoms. Strengthening the muscles in the back of the forearm and in particular your grip can really improve some of the elbow pain you are experiencing.

Check it out the video and let us know if you have any questions!

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Christina Prevett

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