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April 21, 2008

Tennis Elbow

We're studying elbows this week and when I stumbled across an article about tennis elbow, it only seemed appropriate to blog about it. In fact, an entire array of disorders commonly occur in the upper extremity, so I see an idea for a theme this week.

Lateral epicondylitis
or tennis elbow is an overuse injury resulting from repeated straightening and raising your forearm or wrist, an action used in the backhand of a tennis swing. However, common activities such as using a screwdriver, hammering, painting, raking, and weaving can result in this injury.

Tennis elbow usually arises when the tendons coming from the muscle of the forearm become inflamed at the point where they join the epicondyle.

There is a common tendon at the lateral epicondyle (the knob on the outside of your elbow) where the pain occurs. The extensor carpi radialis brevis (the one that goes to the 3rd metacarpal and helps bend the wrist back) is usually the culprit in tennis elbow.

If you're suffering from tennis elbow you will have to face the fact that you may have pain for some time - perhaps as long as a year or even more. But the good news is that the condition is what's known as 'self - limiting'; meaning it will get better naturally. Rest, ice, and massage (by the way, massage, when administered, may be painful) will give temporary relief to get you through until it clears up permanently.

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Posted by linda at April 21, 2008 7:26 AM

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