You’ve just sat down to watch the new Bachelorette and you reach over to grab your cup for a sip of water. Next thing you know, there’s water everywhere and your elbow has a shooting pain in it. That’s “tennis elbow”.
There’s a few muscles that can be involved in tennis elbow, but the biggest culprit is the supinator muscle. (Sounds a little like a soup fighting ninja, huh?)
The way this pain starts is due to repetitive microtrauma to the muscle/tendon unit causing inflammation and tissue damage. This can happen from things like crossfit, flipping a breifcase onto a desk, playing tennis (obvi), screwdrivering (that’s a word right? haha), lots of handshaking or a big dog pulling on it’s leash (time to watch The Dog Whisperer!).
The part that will hurt most is your lateral (or thumb side) elbow. It might even hurt down into the web of your thumb.
There are other issues that can cause tennis elbow, but most likely it is tendonitis or a lesion in the body of the tendon. Massage helps a lot, but acupuncture can help even more than that.
Things you can do besides massage for tennis elbow treatment:
1. Limit the use of your hand.
2. wear a wrist splint.
3. Steroid injections.
4. Use an arm band specifically designed to help tennis elbow.
In actual tennis, avoid fully extending elbow when hitting the ball. You want to make sure your racquet is not too heavy and that the handle is thin enough that you can fully grip it. Choke up on it if need be to help the weight disperse differently. Use a 2 handed backhand. Do not play on consecutive days if you are having elbow issues.
Learn to carry things with palms facing up rather than down.