Related article: Tennis Elbow Treatment and Exercices
Tennis, like all sports, is one that carries with it a risk of injury. As well as the usual sprains and strains that can develop from the energetic pace and quick changes of direction needed to sustain a good tennis match, tennis players of all levels are also susceptible to developing an injury that is a bit more insidious in its nature – Tennis Elbow.
What is Tennis Elbow?
Although tennis elbow doesn’t sound like the most severe injury that can happen to a sports player, the condition can actually be very serious and painful. Scientifically called Lateral Epicondylitis, tennis elbow affects the tendons situated around the outside of the elbow that are responsible for wrist movements. These tendons become swollen, making the whole outer elbow area sore and tender and even going so far as making it impossible to straighten arm in the more extreme cases.
Overuse is one of the primary causes of tennis elbow, particularly in professional tennis players during intensive training because of the repetitive nature of the actions they perform. All those forehand and backhand shots can take their toll on their entire arm, and if wrist placement or grip is just slightly wrong tennis elbow can begin to develop. Being an overuse injury, the main treatment for tennis elbow is rest and medication, however in some severe cases surgery is needed to correct any damage done. Tennis players who are prone to developing the condition will use preventative measures such as targeted stretching and joint mobilisation to help keep the elbow are mobile and free from tension.
Famous Players with Tennis Elbow
Although only a couple of famous tennis players have spoken out about suffering with tennis elbow at various stages in their career, most notable Tim Henman who was unable to play for 6 months due to a very severe case when her was a junior, it is very likely that the vast majority of professional tennis players today do suffer with it to some degree. Playing tennis at such an elite level requires months and months of practice, increasing the chances of pro players developing the condition. Not all cases of tennis elbow are as debilitating as the one that Henman suffered with, and it’s possible that there are some professional tennis players on the circuit who aren’t even aware that they are experiencing it.
It’s Not Just Tennis Players who get the Elbow
Although we know this condition by the name “tennis elbow” it’s not just tennis players who can develop it. Any professional athlete who makes repetitive arm movements such and flexion of the wrists can suffer with, from swimmers and cricket players to power lifters and shot-putters. Even we can develop it too, simply by going about everyday activities like lifting heavy objects with the wrong form or even sitting at a desk and typing for long hours without being in the right position.