Do you have Tennis Elbow?

If so, looking at joint function is essential!

Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is a condition in which the outer part of the elbow becomes sore and tender, as a result of acute or chronic inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow (lateral epicondyle). The forearm muscles and tendons become damaged from overuse — repeating the same motions again and again. This leads to inflammation, pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow.

It is a problem not only experienced by tennis and squash players, but anyone who undertakes an activity that involves a lot of repetitive wrist extension and/or wrist and elbow compression such as guitar payers, weight lifters and those who spend a lot of time behind a computer keyboard.


In most cases, the development of tennis elbow is not the result of a memorable one-off injury, but the result of the joints at the wrist and elbow moving poorly over a period of time.

When the joints at the elbow and wrist move well, the workload of wrist extension is shared optimally between 11 different muscle tendons and it takes an unusually large or unusually repetitive force to damage the tendons. However if the joints at the elbow or wrist joint move poorly (ie. they are stiff or jammed), the workload of wrist extension is distributed un-evenly and you end up with just a few of the muscles doing most of the work- increasing the likelihood of injuring them and developing tennis elbow.

With sore and inflamed tendons, it can be easy for a practitioner to overlook joint function, however checking joint function at the wrist, elbow and shoulder are critical to addressing the underlying cause of tennis elbow and will result in a much faster relief from pain than in simply treating the muscles and tendons alone.


Dr Kevin Finnan Osteopath

Dr Kevin Finnan


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