October 8, 2009

Tennis Elbow (Part 1) - What Is It?

My right arm is bothering me.  And I'm worried - do I have tennis elbow?  Do I have some of the precursory signs of tennis elbow?  How do I make sure I don't have it and I don't get it?  What do I do if I'm starting to get it?

So many players I know have tennis elbow or have had it that I'm just waiting to get it myself. According to WebMD, tennis elbow can affect as much as 50% of all tennis players at some point in their career!  It is more common in men than women (surprise!) and most often affects people ages 30 to 50 (although you can get it at any age).

Tennis elbow is an over-use injury and is frequently caused because a player is using the wrong equipment or technique. Specifically, according to www.sportsinjuryclinic.net, tennis elbow can be a result of:
  • A poor backhand technique
  • A racquet grip that is too small
  • Strings that are too tight
  • Playing with wet, heavy balls
(I would like to know who exactly is playing with wet, heavy balls.)

Tennis elbow can't be diagnosed by a blood test or by x-ray. The way to know you have it is by the type of pain you are feeling and the symptoms you are experiencing. So what are the most common symptoms of tennis elbow?
  • Pain slowly increasing around the outside of the elbow
  • Pain that worsens when shaking hands, squeezing objects or squeezing a tennis racquet!
  • Pain that increases by stabilizing the wrist or moving it with force, like when lifting, opening jars, using tools or handling utensils
So what do you think? Do you have tennis elbow? Do you think you might get it?

Tune in to Tennis Fixation's next post when we find out what to do if you have tennis elbow and how to avoid getting it (or re-getting it) in the first place.

© Kim Selzman 2009
All Rights Reserved

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