Causes and risk factors
Playing tennis three times in a week when you haven’t played for repetitive movement of hand, wrist & forearm can be the cause these include some time is the sort of overuse that could cause tennis elbow. But most people who develop tennis elbow have not been playing tennis. A range of different activities that involve repeated hand, wrist and forearm movements can be the cause. These include:
- Using a computer mouse (especially if you have poor arm and neck posture)
- Using a computer keyboard
- Using vibrating equipment, such as strimmers
- Using scissors or shears
- Manual occupations that involve repetitive twisting and lifting of the wrist – including plumbing, bricklaying and use of a screwdriver
- Playing musical instruments such as the violin
The main symptom is pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow and sometimes in the muscles on top of the forearm. Tennis elbow usually affects the arm of your dominant hand (right arm if you are right-handed) because this is the arm you use the most.
The symptoms usually develop gradually. The pain may go away after a day or so. But if you repeat the activity that triggered the pain, it may get worse as you will increase the damage to your tendon. The pain may become constant and pain may even interrupt your sleep.
Other symptoms include:
- Stiffness in the morning and painful when you turn door handles or shake hands.
- Arm feels weak and heavy
- The pain may radiate to your neck or shoulder of the arm affected.
Exactly how you do this depends on how you came to have tennis elbow and how severe it is.
Treatment for tennis elbow includes the following.
- Reduce inflammation and pain. Acupuncture, ultrasound, tens deep tissue massage and correcting posture. For tennis elbow that has failed to heal with normal treatment, a doctor may suggest a steroid injection, which can help relieve pain and inflammation.
- Activity modification. Your physiotherapist can advise you on how to improve your posture, or improve your technique at sports and other activities to help prevent further injuries. They will ease your ADLS
- Rehabilitation. This involves strengthening exercises and stretching.
- Gripping exercises. This will help to giving rest your tendon which has inflamed due to repetitive activity.