What Causes Tennis Elbow & How to Test Yourself

tennis elbow cause test lateral epicondylitis

Tennis elbow is an overuse injury commonly seen in people that do repetitive hand movements such as people that type all day, painters, carpenters, and people using hand tools on a daily basis.  It affects the extensor muscles of the wrist that attach to the lateral epicondyle of the elbow (outside of the elbow).

These are the muscles on the top of the forearm used to lift the hand up in a back slapping motion.

Due to the fact that it’s an overuse injury and the muscles affected can’t keep up with the demand, one way to make it better is by resting and not doing the activity that increases the pain. Other treatment options include massage, strengthening exercises, and stretching exercises.

Tennis Elbow Test

How do you know if you have tennis elbow? 

Besides pain on top of the forearm and outer elbow, you can do a simple 10 second test called Cozen’s test.

The test is done by holding your arm straight in front of you with your wrist bent up. With your other hand you try to push the wrist down.

For this tennis elbow test to be positive for lateral epicondylitis, it should reproduce pain on the wrist extensor muscles and/or the outside of the elbow.

Tennis Elbow Treatment

Many people make the mistake of using a tennis elbow strap to treat lateral epicondylitis because they think it will get rid of the problem but a strap will not get your muscles stronger or condition them to withstand repetitive motions.

For this reason, the best way to treat tennis elbow is following a structured rehabilitation program that walks you through different phases of treatment based on how you’re progressing.

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