Most Common causes of Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is an injury which is caused by the overuse and strain of a muscle. The tendon that is attached to the bone on the outside portion of the elbow is called the lateral epicondyle. It is this tendon which when gets affected can give rise to a painful situation like tennis elbow.

This bone attached to the tendon helps in the muscle movement of the hand backward from the wrist. Tennis elbow develops when there are tears in the tendon which leads to severe pain and inflammation. Generally, there are some causes leading up to a tennis elbow.

Common Causes Of Tennis Elbow

Repeated Motions

Tennis elbow, also known as archer’s elbow or hooter’s elbow is caused primarily by repeated motions of contraction of the forearms.

These muscles of the forearm are used to straighten and raise the hands and wrists. Continuous and repeated uses of these muscles cause them to exert.

These repeated motions and stress caused to these muscles result in tiny tears of the tendon. The degeneration of the common extensor tendon is thought to be the main cause of tennis elbow.


In some cases, it has been noted that people who are involved in certain kinds of jobs like plumbers, painters, carpenters, butchers and cooks are more prone to developing this disease.

The way they have to work with their tools almost always entails them to resort to repeated motions using the muscles of the forearms.

This repeated uses of the muscles of the forearm result in tennis elbow. Gardening and lifting heavy grocery bags are also causes that can trigger this condition.

Tendon Tears

The chronic pain associated with tennis elbow is the result of microscopic tears in the tendon. The common extensor tendon, one such tendon in the forearm when becomes swollen and degenerates can cause severe pain.

These tendons are attached to the lateral epicondyle of the humerus. A tennis elbow like condition does not happen overnight.

In fact, it develops over time due to repeated activities. The constant pull of the tendons due to these activities cause the tears which manifest themselves as tennis elbow.

Playing Tennis

It sounds common as the name of the disease is itself, tennis elbow. Tennis or playing tennis also involves repeated actions like holding the racquet, swinging, or using the poor stroke technique.

Tennis players have to hit thousands and thousands of tennis balls and this movement of the arm sometimes causes tears in the muscles of the forearms.

Golfer’s are equally at risk of developing the same condition due to the nature of the strikes being similar. If tennis players use incorrect racquet size and weight, this condition aggravates.

Radial Nerves

Though tennis elbow is mainly caused by the overuse and exertion of the muscles of the forearm, some studies have suggested that between the tendons in the forearm and the periosteum of the lateral humeral epicondyle, there are both microscopic and macroscopic tears.

The study also points out that the radial nerve plays an important role in this. The constrictions of these radial nerves by adhesions add to the cause of tennis elbow. Carpal tunnel syndrome can also be a known cause of this condition.

Tennis elbow is soon becoming the part of the pain lingo. The causes are sometimes unknown to us, but this discussion will hopefully throw light on these previously unknown causes.

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