While you might expect regular players to get tennis elbow, you might be surprised to know that this complaint can have many other causes.
Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis to use its medical name, is an injury to the tendon that joins the extensor muscles of the forearm to the upper arm bone (humerus).
While you can get tennis elbow form a single incident, such as lifting something very heavy, by far the most common cause is repeated use of the arm.
Of course you can get tennis elbow by regularly playing the game, but other causes include:
- Excessive use of a computer mouse or keyboard
- Using vibrating equipment, such as strimmers
- Repeated use of scissors or shears
- Regular gardening
- Manual work that involves repetitive twisting and lifting of the wrist (plumbing, bricklaying, using of a screwdriver)
- Playing musical instruments (e.g. the violin )
The principal symptom is pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow, or to the muscles on top of the forearm. Other things to watch out for include weakness in the hand or arm, which can even radiate up to your shoulder or neck.
Treatment includes stopping the activity that precipitated the injury, pain killers, ice, and physiotherapy.