Causes and Risk Factors of tennis elbow

lateral epicondylitis is a’ painful inflammation of the tendons that connect the muscles of the forearm to the outer part of the elbow (lateral epicondyle). This condition is also known as tennis elbow , considering that tennis is the sporting activity that exposes the musculoskeletal structures affected by the disorder to greater tension.

Lateral epicondylitis is often caused by functional overload , that is, by an excessive and continued use of the elbow, and is typical of subjects who, due to particular sports or professional activities, are forced to repeat certain movements tennis elbow symptoms.

In particular, tennis elbow is an insertional tendinopathy : the inflammatory process involves the insertion of the extensor epicondyle muscles of the forearm, which originate from the lateral epicondyle of the elbow (located near the bony protrusion in the lower external extremity of the humerus ). Tennis elbow is therefore caused by inflammation of the muscles and tendons that enter theextension of the wrist or fingers of the hand .

In principle, the pain associated with lateral epicondylitis affects only the tendons, especially when making wrist extension movements against resistance, and tends to increase with activities that require the involvement of the muscles in the affected limb. With prolonged abuse, the painful manifestation can radiate along the forearm and persist even at rest, resulting in a progressive reduction in the functionality of the hand, wrist and elbow.

tennis elbow symptoms

Abuse and Trauma

Many people suffering from tennis elbow in employment or recreational activities that require repetitive use and vigorous of ‘ articulation of the elbow.Lateral epicondylitis is caused by inflammation often caused by functional overload , which occurs mainly when the muscles and tendons of the elbow are forced to overexert. Furthermore, repeated microtrauma or direct damage to the lateral epicondyle, such as excessive extension of the forearm or incorrect movement , has been shown to cause more than half of these injuries.


Athletes aren’t the only people who need tennis elbow. Lateral epicondylitis can arise as a result of any repeated activity involving twisting or extending the wrist, lifting weights, and overuse of the forearm muscles .

Activities that can cause tennis elbow include:

  • Racquet sports, such as tennis, badminton, and squash
  • Throwing sports, such as javelin or discus

Other sports: golf and fencing;

Professional activities that involve repetitive movements of the hands and wrist: plumber, bricklayer, carpenter, butchers, cooks, carpenters, tailors and painters;

Other activities that strain the elbow and wrist intensely, such as playing the violin or using shears while gardening.