Elbow pain (tennis elbow)
Commonly referred to as “tennis elbow”, extensor tendinopathy refers to degeneration and inflammation within the tendons on the outside of the elbow. These tendons connect the forearm muscles to the arm bone and function to lift the wrist, hand and fingers.
This is a common injury associated with activities requiring repetitive use of the wrist and hand, and results from overuse of the tendons on the outside of the forearm. The function of these tendons is to transmit forces produced by the forearm muscles to their origin from the arm bone. Repetitive use of the forearm muscles, and therefore, the forearm tendons can lead to microscopic tears within the tendons and degeneration or breakdown of the tendons. To repair this degeneration, the body commences an inflammatory response.
The primary sensation is pain felt on the outside of the elbow and forearm. Initially it may only be felt following exercise. As the tendinopathy worsens the pain within the tendon becomes more intense and more frequent. In the earlier stages, this pain during exercise may initially disappear as you warm up, only to return as you cool down. However, as you continue to exercise, the tendinopathy worsens and your pain may begin to be present for longer periods during exercise until you are constantly aware of it.