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The tennis elbow is an irritation of the tissue connecting the muscle of the forearm with an elbow. Although the condition is often attributed to someone who plays tennis, the tenderness arises from continuous and repetitive movement of the wrist and arm.

It manifests itself in inflammation of the tissues outside the elbow area, but some patients claim that they have pain anywhere from the wrist to the forearm leading to the elbow.

While some may discern the condition on their own, a doctor must make an initial diagnosis and advise treatment to relieve tennis elbow pain. Knowing the first signs of the condition is a key aspect of obtaining relief from this persistent discomfort.

What Causes Tennis Elbow?

  • Any activity that requires excessive and constant grip
  • Prune shrubs
  • Paint
  • Repetitive use of a hammer or screwdriver
  • Tennis is just one of the causes of this condition

You may be surprised at the activities that can trigger tennis elbow pain. Painting does not appear to be an activity that can cause inflammation in the elbow or forearm area. However, any activity that requires a person to continually squeeze or hold a tool to complete the movement can cause it.

What is epicondylitis and how can it be treated?

Epicondylitis is another name for tennis elbow, and it arises from repetitive motion coupled with constant and excessive gripping of a tool or instrument necessary to complete any activity, such as painting or playing tennis.

There are specific and repetitive movements in tennis that make a person more prone to developing this condition. How to perform a movement poorly when trying to backhand with one hand or bend the wrist significantly when swinging with the right hand.

If you're serving the ball, snapping and twisting your wrist with full power to do so can cause inflammation of the tendons outside the elbow or tennis elbow.

Often times, patients will ignore the signs and symptoms that indicate a case of tennis elbow.

Symptoms of epicondylitis

  • Tenderness on the outside of the elbow
  • Morning stiffness of the elbow
  • Persistent elbow pain
  • Pain in the forearm muscles
  • Elbow pain that worsens when grasping or holding an object

Also, some atypical symptoms of epicondylitis include pain resulting from the following activities:

  • Open a door
  • Shake someone's hand
  • Raise your hand or try to straighten your wrist
  • Lift something

We are going to analyze each of these symptoms to take a closer look at this condition.

Tenderness on the outside of the elbow

After a day of manual labor and a lot of effort, one might expect a little tenderness around the joints. Whether you've painted, hammered nails, or played a game of tennis, you could just take the sensitivity around the elbow for granted. Especially if it occurs after activities that you do not usually do.

Morning stiffness of the elbow

Many people tend to ignore the morning stiffness of their joints. Especially if they have morning stiffness in other joints of the body. It's easy to believe that stiff elbow joint is just one of the general effects of aging.

It's also easy to ignore morning stiffness in your elbow joint if you don't regularly participate in the repetitive activities mentioned above, which require squeezing a tennis racket or tool to complete an activity. We all assume that in a few days the stiffness will go away, right?

In the case of epicondylitis, this may be the case. However, when there are other symptoms, you will want to be more careful and try to lessen the inflammation present in the outer elbow area.

Forearm muscle pain

As we age, we are bound to experience some pain in our bodies from time to time. We can avoid this pain by not participating regularly in activities that can cause stiffness.

We can also avoid it if we refrain from participating in activities that force us to squeeze an instrument, utensil or other tool.

However, by doing this, we only keep the problem at bay for a short time. Although epicondylitis of the elbow can be treated, you may still experience it from time to time. You could dismiss forearm muscle pain as normal pain after atypical activity.

Elbow pain that worsens when you grasp objects

Again, it is natural for you to ignore this symptom when you have just participated in activities that are not part of your routine. You played tennis, painted the bathroom, or spent a weekend using a hammer to make repairs. Even for several days afterward, you could take all of these signs and symptoms as “normal” since you did something that was out of your routine.

Inflammation only tends to get worse when you ignore the symptoms. They can also get worse when steps are not taken to eliminate inflammation.

However, when you believe that the pain, ache, and swelling of epicondylitis are due simply to doing a new and unusual activity, it is easy to skip treatment, assuming the pain will go away on its own.

While the above symptoms are often ignored by the patient on the assumption that the irritation can be attributed to another cause, there are other signs and symptoms of tennis elbow that are not necessarily associated with epicondylitis.

These symptoms are often not necessarily ignored but rather discarded by the patient. However, they all report a case of epicondylitis and it should be treated before the condition worsens.

Pain when opening a door

Keep in mind that doctors claim that one of the main causes of epicondylitis is the repeated grasping or squeezing of an object. It makes sense for people who experience epicondylitis to experience pain when trying to grasp the doorknob and twist the object.

Yes, one of the most overlooked symptoms of epicondylitis is one's inability to grasp everyday objects without pain. Something as simple, and standard, as opening a door can be a sign of tennis elbow.

To what do people attribute this pain? There is no particular cause. Also, if this occurs without the presence of other symptoms, one cannot associate the pain experienced when trying to grasp and turn the doorknob as something caused by epicondylitis.

Pain when shaking someone's hand

Consider one of the main causes of tennis elbow: repetitive grasping of an object. What happens when you shake someone's hand? You grab the other person's hand and squeeze it.

There are many reasons why one might ignore this epicondylitis symptom. We may not shake hands with others regularly (at least not the traditional handshake). If this is the case, we can attribute the pain to an isolated incident.

In the same way that happens when we grasp and turn a doorknob, if we do not have other symptoms of tennis elbow, we can assume that the pain of a handshake is not a cause for concern.

Pain when lifting something

We only experience pain when lifting something because we did not lift it correctly, right? This is not necessarily the case. Tendonitis in the elbow can manifest itself as pain when lifting any object, even if it is something as simple as lifting (and grasping) a pen or pencil.

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