I Don't Even Play Tennis...
The Quintessential Overuse Injury
The human body is remarkable. It was created and/or evolved to do extraordinary things. The system of skin, muscle, fat, fascia, connective tissue, and bone all work in coordination to take us from point A to point B in style. It seems like a flawless system.
If one flaw does exist it’s on your lateral epicondyle.
The term “tennis elbow” is what the medical field calls lateral epicondylitis. Any doctor who deals with the outpatient population has run into this at some point.
Tennis elbow is an overuse or repetitive use injury to the lateral (outside) elbow on the epicondyle of the humerus. The suffix “itis” denotes inflammation so when we piece the term lateral epicondylitis is means inflammation of the lateral epicondyle of the humerus. See the image below.
The elbow is an incredible joint. Despite being limited to only flexion and extension, we are able to manipulate our environment to a great degree because of this joint. That also makes the elbow a vulnerable joint.
Every movement you make with your upper extremity impacts the elbow. Muscles like the biceps and triceps cross both the shoulder and elbow joint. This means when you move the shoulder, you’re also causing motion or stabilizing the elbow. Muscles crossing the elbow such as the brachialis, brachioradialis, and all the flexor and extensor muscles of the forearm plan an integral role in the elbow joint.
That brings us to the topic of this article: lateral epicondylitis.