Tennis Elbow: What Really Causes It?

Tennis elbow is an especially painful injury that occurs as a result of overuse of the elbow. Its name leads most people to assume it is strictly a result of playing tennis, but the truth is that tennis elbow has many different origins. Also known as lateral epicondylitis, this inflammation of the tendons leads to pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow.

Why Does Tennis Elbow Develop?

Tennis elbow is not an injury that occurs suddenly. It develops over time from repeated motions of the arm and wrist. Those movements create small tears in the tendon that attaches the forearm muscles to the bony portion of the outer elbow. Lateral epicondylitis is generically known as tennis elbow since incorrect tennis technique causes the power in the swing of a racquet to increase pressure on the tendon, trigger irritation and inflammation, and gradually lead to tears in the tendon.

For tennis players and other athletes and professionals who continually move their arm and wrist in a manner that tears the tendon, the extensor muscles become very painful due to the tendon breakdown. Eventually, even simple tasks like holding a cup of coffee, turning a doorknob, and gripping objects become painful due to pain radiating from the outside of the elbow into the forearm and wrist.

What Risk Factors Increase Your Chances of Tennis Elbow?

Tennis is far from the only cause of tennis elbow. Many commonly repeated arm motions can damage the tendon in the arm. Professionals like plumbers, painters, butchers, cooks, and carpenters all must complete motions on a regular basis that can cause tennis elbow. Age is also a risk factor, as this condition is most common in adults between the ages of 30 and 50.

Seeking Treatment for Tennis Elbow

Although tennis elbow is painful, it can be treated efficiently. Physical therapy can alleviate pain by stretching and strengthening the muscles in the forearm and wrist. If basic therapy is not enough to alleviate the pain, PRP injections can be used to deliver concentrated blood platelets into the site of the injury. Platelets are so powerful because they secrete growth factors and other proteins that regulate healthy cell division, stimulate tissue regeneration, and promote healing beyond what the body can normally achieve.

If you need help recovering from tennis elbow, the experienced doctors at Suncoast Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine can diagnosis and treat your condition with cutting edge treatments like PRP and ultrasonic tenotomy. Call (941) 485-1505 now to make your appointment and finally escape your chronic pain.