What Is Tennis Elbow?
What is Tennis Elbow? A torn tendon? Inflammation? No. Why Tennis Elbow is a different kind of injury and why RICE is not the best way to treat it.
Video explains how it's (usually) not the kind of injury it's often described as... NOT the kind of "Acute Injury" you treat with R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) - So, What KIND of injury is it?
Although Tennis Elbow is an aggravating, painful injury of the outer forearm muscles and tendons, it's usually a gradual 'Chronic' injury and not an 'Acute' injury crisis - In other words, there's usually no tear, no 'strain' - OR even any inflammation!
Which means you need a much different treatment strategy than what the "common wisdom" and standard approach would seem to call for...
Learn To Treat Your Own Tennis Elbow With This Self-Help Video Program:
You'll get instant access to a complete program designed by a professional therapist to help you take charge and break your vicious elbow pain and injury cycle...
I'll be your personal tutor guiding you through easy-to-follow video lessons, where you'll learn all the therapy techniques, key stretches AND essential exercises you need to treat and recover from your injury at home. (No special equipment or gimmick devices needed!)
Just watch the videos, follow along and start putting an end to your elbow pain today.
Tennis Elbow Is Rarely A "Big Tendon Tear" Injury
Below is a good image showing exactly where the injury is found at the outer elbow (Lateral Epicondyle) - But it's not a good representation of WHAT the injury is...
The picture shows what appears to be a scary-looking major tear in the tendon right where it connects to the bone - But this is misleading.
I want to reassure you that major tendon tears are rarely the cause of Tennis Elbow pain.
Even if you're in a lot of pain and your injury doesn't seem to be healing no matter what you do - that doesn't mean you have a big tear in your tendon.
(There may be some tiny, microscopic damage or tearing, yes, but that's a different thing altogether).
Yes, it IS a tendon injury - But, once again, the injury is usually not the 'Acute' kind. It's usually not a tear (sprain, strain or "pull").
To make a comparison, an acute injury is like a heart attack, which is clearly a sudden, acute crisis.
And a chronic, degenerative injury is more like hardening of the arteries ‘Arteriosclerosis,’ a slow, gradual degenerative condition.
So, the point is that:
- Tennis Elbow is rarely an acute injury crisis, like a heart attack.
- It’s a chronic, gradual, degenerative condition, more like “hardening of the arteries”
- 'TendinOSIS' is the word – NOT TendonITIS.
Here's a link to the full article (companion to the video above) about how it's a chronic injury and...
Still Have Concerns About Inflammation?
It's still the biggest sacred cow of Tennis Elbow and refuses to peacefully expire!
The outdated theory was that the essence of the problem (and the pain) was mostly the fault of inflammation.
But, if you’re still chasing it, treating it and worrying about it, here's why you can stop right now, today – You're chasing a ghost.
This post and video shows how it’s been conclusively proven that the vast majority of Tennis Elbow cases do not involve any significant inflammation (especially long-term/chronic cases.)
And that those "ITIS" endings (Elbow Tendonitis / Lateral Epicondylitis) which suggest an inflammatory condition also need to get tossed.
Tennis Elbow Is Usually TendinOSIS Not Tendonitis
This video follows the one above (on this page) and takes a deeper look at elbow tendon pain and the true nature of the injury.
After all, if Tennis Elbow was just an irritated, inflamed tendon at your elbow – or even a minor tendon tear...
WHY then doesn’t it get better with a little ice, a little rest and a few anti-inflammatories?
Clearly, there must be more to your elbow pain and injury than it seemed at first, (especially if you've been in pain several months!)
So, let’s take a deeper look at:
- The essence of the injury,
- The crucial difference between Tendonitis and TendinOSIS,
- And why this changes everything when it comes to treating it:
How is Tennis Elbow diagnosed?
Part of the confusion comes from how the injury gets diagnosed. It's mostly based on your description of your symptoms and maybe a muscle resistance test or two.
There are no objective tests; no blood or lab tests, and although an MRI can see into the tendons and help with a diagnosis, they are not often prescribed in the early stages of the injury.
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow
Tendon pain and muscle soreness and pain are the main symptoms.
The epicenter of the pain is usually felt right on the bony knob at the outer elbow or just below it toward the wrist - The definitive "Tennis Elbow spot."
And there is often pain, soreness and weakness in some or all of the muscles in your outer forearm, and even your wrist.
Lateral Epicondylitis: The Old "Official" Technical Term
Technically speaking, the bony knob at your elbow where these tendons attach is your Lateral Epicondyle, and that's where the clinical name for it comes from: Lateral Epicondylitis
It's also often called Elbow Tendonitis (or Tendinitis.)
THREE names for the same thing!? The official medical websites seem to suggest they are more or less the same condition - But in fact they're not:
Do Golfer's Ever Get Tennis Elbow?
A look at golf magazine websites, medical studies and surveys, suggests that golfers not only get Tennis Elbow, they actually suffer this condition more often than Golfer's Elbow! (Why is Tennis Elbow a more common golf injury?)
Why Don’t Pros Get Tennis Elbow?… Or Do They?
The perception seems to be that tennis pros don't get Tennis Elbow but a slightly better question might be: "Why do pros get it less often than amateurs considering how much tennis they play?
This is inspired by a question I ran across on Quora – And even if your elbow injury doesn't have anything to do with tennis check it out. (Potentially valuable lesson here.)
Why don't pros get get Tennis Elbow? (Article, video, Podcast)
A Complete Self-Help Video Treatment Program