You do not have to play tennis to have a tennis elbow

What is the tennis elbow and who tends to be most affected by it? Many false opinions have accumulated around this medical condition. The main one is the belief that the tennis elbow is a disease with which people who play tennis usually struggle. But what’s the reality?

Yes, tennis players can suffer from the tennis elbow, but they are only a small percentage of people who are affected by this condition. It is actually most common amongst office workers, IT specialists, mechanics and fitters, which is why the tennis elbow has been recognised as an occupational disease.

And what is it exactly? The tennis elbow is a rather troublesome condition that can even prevent everyday functioning, causing pain around the elbow. Symptoms usually appear when you try to use your wrist, i.e. you want to lift something, grab or clench your fist, as well as when typing on the keyboard. In the later stage of the disease, the pain may also appear at rest. Until recently, there was a belief that it is caused by inflammation of the extensor muscles of the wrist extensors, which have their attachment to the lateral humerus, but now it is believed that degenerative changes resulting from overloads and microinjuries are responsible for this.

As it turned out that the tennis elbow is not an inflammation – anti-inflammatory drugs do not work, and analgesics do not heal, but only remove the symptoms. This condition is treated with massages, shockwaves or the use of physical therapy treatments.

Fortunately, you can try to avoid this unpleasant ailment. If you sit a lot at the desk and work in front of the computer, keep your forearms flat. Elbows in this position should be outside the surface so as not to irritate the ulnar nerve. The keyboard you use should be as flat as possible so that your wrists are not tilted up too much – you will avoid excessive muscle overload.

And if this condition has already affected you – make an appointment with a physiotherapist who will set up a plan of action and help you fight this nagging ailment.