Your Tennis Elbow May Not Be Coming from your Tennis Game

by Jennifer Balducci, PT, MSPT

Have you noticed that after hours on the computer you walk away with a nagging soreness on the outside of your elbow? While lateral elbow pain is often diagnosed as “Tennis Elbow” it actually has nothing necessarily to do with playing too much tennis. Pain on the outside of the elbow is actually often caused with overuse of the Extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB), a thin muscle that has an extremely long tendon that attaches to the lateral epicondyle of the humerus (outside of the elbow). Because of the length of the tendon, it is inherently avascular, meaning that it doesn’t have a great blood supply and overuse often causes a dying back of the tendon resulting in chronic pain in the area (why it is often unsuccessful to treat).

The tendon also inserts into the base of your 3rd finger which is activated when you type on the computer with your wrists slightly extended.

To avoid overuse, it is best to have your wrists in a neutral or angled in a slightly downward position on your keyboard.

A simple way to increase blood flow to this area is to extend your elbow and first two fingers into a “bunny Ear” position then flex and extend your wrist and fingers “nodding the bunnies head”, this will encourage blood flow to the area.

If you have tried other treatment unsuccessfully, One. also can assist you with a safe treatment designed to increase blood flow by administering deep tissue laser to the area.

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