Just Some Tennis Elbow.... Or Is it?
Tennis elbow is a real thing and was first coined because it was seen frequently in tennis players. The technical name for the condition is actually Lateral Epicondylalgia (or epicondylitis, or epicondylosis). The bony prominence of the arm bone where many wrist muscles attached is the lateral epicondyle, and the dysfunction or inflammation of that area (many times in relation to the muscles) is defined as such.
Lateral epicondylalgia CAN be exclusively related to the overuse of the wrist extensor muscle group- the muscles that work while writing, typing, gripping, carrying, and of course, playing tennis 🎾 BUT there's more!
The nerves that run through the same area actually originate in the lower part of the neck. Since the nervous system (except the brain and spinal cord) is one, big, continuous piece of tissue, an unhappy nerve in any point of the system can create pain or problems in another point. Wild, right?! In my experience, many people who have pain around the elbow actually also have some unhappiness higher up the "chain," as we say in PT Land. Places I look typically include the shoulder, chest, and neck. There could be muscles weakness and/or tightness, joint tightness, or just general nerve irritation in these areas.
If the New Year is bringing some New Pains (see what I did there? :)), including but not limited to Tennis Elbow, come into PT x AJ for a quick screen and to find out how I can help you!