When the tendons of the elbow (lateral epicondyle) are injured, irritated, or inflamed, it becomes a condition labelled as tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis. It is a painful condition that is often felt in the area of the arm near the elbow and/or in the elbow itself.
Tennis elbow is often caused by overuse, abuse, and misuse of the forearm. Many forearm muscles are attached around the lateral epicondyle; so whenever they are exploited, they pull too much force on the elbow which makes it sore. The most common activities that can induce lateral epicondylitis includes playing tennis (especially backhands), frequent using of a screwdriver, drilling, and repeated keyboard and mouse use.
Some of the risk factors that can heighten the occurrence of tennis elbow are:
- Age – usually those people between the ages of 30 to 50
- Occupation – people whose work involve repetitive twisting of the wrists and arms are highly susceptible
- Sports – especially the ones that involve the use of rackets
Symptoms of this condition may include pain and tenderness, and are usually felt on the outside of your dominant elbow and into the upper forearm. The pain is often exacerbated by wrist motions like gripping and anything which requires the use of forearm muscles.