Have you ever wondered what causes Tennis Elbow? Well, I will tell you all you need to know to be an expert on the subject of lateral epicondylitis. Basically tennis elbow is an overuse syndrome where certain muscles are used more frequently than other muscles. This puts extra strain on muscle and tendon tissue than they were meant to handle. The covering of the muscle and tendons is called fascia. The fascia is a nerve-rich thin covering that gives shape to the muscle. When the fascia becomes irritated adhesions develop in the outer layer causing increased friction when it rubs up against other muscles and tendons.
Ideally, the fascia covered muscles and tendons are meant to glide over each other smoothly. The adhesions turn the smooth outer layer into a pitted pattern. This will restrict normal motion and cause increased friction when adhesions are contacted. So when tissue that is irritated gets even more irritated we have a problem that keeps getting worse. Think of the small airplanes we would play with as children. We would wind up the rubber band connected to the prop. When it was wound to tight it would break. Tendons are very much like rubber bands, they have only so much elasticity before they snap. The whole process is painful and limits mobility.
The muscle group singled out to be the worst in cases of tennis elbow tennis elbow is the extensor carpi radialis brevis. Let’s break this mouthful of a word down. Extensor tells us that this muscle is responsible for extending the fingers( Carpi). Radialis indicates the radial or right side. You would know it as the outside of the arm and Brevis means the shorter muscles of the radialis group. The muscle extends and abducts the wrist. Try and think to understand the motion as follows. With your hands out in front of you pull the hand towards you, this describes the extension. You are extending the wrist. Now move your hand away from your body this is abduction. The fact that this short muscle can perform two very distinct actions at the same time will tell you how sensitive it is. We are describing fine motor movement with both extension and abduction. Here is an interesting fact the finer muscle movement requires lots of nerve innervation so it is highly sensitive. This means it can hurt a lot when it is hurt.
Racquet sports tend to be the majority of people getting tennis elbow. However, you may be surprised to learn that plumbers, carpenters, and painters have a fairly high incidence of tennis elbow even though they do not play tennis. The motion of wrist abduction and extension is the common function between tennis players and these laborers. Overuse of the muscle will lead to the mentioned adhesion’s causing the muscle to become dysfunctional and this will, in turn, affect the surrounding muscles severely limiting motion with accompanying pain.
Reverse wrist curls can help by strengthening the extensor muscles of the forearm. A review of these exercises can be found on YouTube. I urge you to go there and learn a few of these exercises they can be valuable in self-treating on a simple level. If the muscle pain persists you may also want to consider icing it when it hurts. This will takeout some of the pain and swelling. The good thing is that just about everyone reading this has access to ice. Another thing to consider is using NSAIDs like Advil or Aleve. These will reduce swelling and help with the pain associated with tennis elbow.
Now with all this information, you can make a better decision on how you would like to treat your case of tennis elbow. The web is a wonderful guide but can be confusing. Read this article again and then do your research. I always recommend that you start with the least expensive methods first. Use what you have in your home it may just work. If not then dig deeper you will eventually find the relief you were searching for. I hope you found this information to be helpful. Please leave comments below and pass the article on to a friend with a tennis elbow.