What is it: Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is an overuse and muscle strain injury. The cause is repeated contraction of the forearm muscles that you use to straighten and raise your hand and wrist. The repeated motions and stress to the tissue may result in inflammation or a series of tiny tears in the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the bony prominence at the outside of your elbow (lateral epicondyle).
Statistics: The National Golf Foundation’s records show an estimated 12.98 million core adult golfers, with over 27.8 million golfers in the United States alone as of 2004. There are over 16,000 golf facilities in the United States. In 2002, golfers spent over $24.3 billion on equipment and fees.
Important Facts: As the name suggests, playing tennis — especially repeated use of the backhand stroke with poor technique — is one possible cause of tennis elbow. People who have jobs that involve repetitive motions of the wrist and arm are more likely to develop tennis elbow. Examples include plumbers, painters, carpenters, butchers and cooks.
Left untreated, tennis elbow can result in chronic pain — especially when lifting or gripping objects. Using your arm too strenuously before your elbow has healed can make the problem worse.
Do’s/Don’ts: Heavier racquets are healthier racquets. While an equipment change is not always necessary, it oftentimes is the best way to address TE. We carry demo racquets that have proven to be healthy and invite our customers to give them a try for an extended period. We know from experience that a 12oz racquet can be easily handled by children in their teens and adults alike. In fact the extra mass of the racquet is not only healthier, but can generate heavier and more penetrating strokes off the ground and at the net.
Common Myths: MYTH #1: Tennis elbow is most often caused by improper technique and bad mechanics. OUR BELIEF: When initial research on Tennis Elbow (TE) was conducted flaws in technique and mechanics were often cited as the cause of the discomfort. While serious flaws in technique continue to be a legitimate cause of TE, it is no longer the primary cause. The number of those suffering from TE over the past several years has risen dramatically. The cause is no longer primarily related to mechanics, but rather is related to equipment.