Tennis Elbow Rehabilitation
Many tennis players, recreational as well as professional, will experience pain just below the elbow joint, commonly referred to as “tennis elbow”. Tennis elbow (also referred to as lateral epicondylitis) actually is an inflammation (tendonitis) of the wrist extensor tendon, which is formed by four forearm muscles.
How Tennis Elbow Develops
Most scientists believe that tennis elbow starts with a micro tear in the wrist extensor muscles (see Figure 1). This occurs due to improper warm-up and/or overuse. More specifically, tennis elbow mainly is caused by regularly reinforcing poor stroke production technique, in particular during the backhand ground stroke. Slapping or punching the ball instead of swinging fully through the shot increases pressure on the wrist extensor tendon. In other words, hitting a backhand groundstroke (making contact with the ball) while leading with a flexed elbow (elbow is at or near 90˚) instead of the shoulder/body will cause inflammation of the wrist extensor tendon.
Another key factor is poor hand-eye coordination skills, which causes you to hit the ball off center – outside the racquet’s “sweet spot” – causing additional pressure.
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