A PAINFUL OVERUSE INJURY, TENNIS ELBOW IS CHARACTERIZED BY INFLAMMATION OF THE TENDONS THAT CONNECT THE FOREARM MUSCLES TO THE ELBOW.
Although it’s very common among avid tennis players, anyone who uses their forearm and elbow repetitively is susceptible to this injury as well. Interesting that only 5% of people with this condition actually play tennis! Often it’s an overuse injury from repetitive activity and stress.
UNDERSTANDING TENNIS ELBOW
To understand how tennis elbow affects the body, it’s important to first understand the anatomy of your elbow joint. This critical structure is comprised of three important bones:
- The humerus (in the upper arm)
- The radius (in the forearm)
- The ulna (in the forearm)
Various muscles, tendons and ligaments surround these bones and stabilize your elbow joint. The tendons in your forearm are called extensors, and they attach the muscle to the bone. When you’re suffering from tennis elbow, these are the tendons that are inflamed and damaged.
WHO IS AT RISK FOR TENNIS ELBOW?
While it’s true that tennis elbow very frequently affects tennis players, anyone who participates in sports or activities that require repetitive wrist, forearm and elbow movements is at risk for this type of injury. For example, it’s not at all uncommon for baseball players, golfers, bowlers, carpenters, landscapers and mechanics to be diagnosed with tennis elbow.