Lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow, is a common problem among physically active people and, as the name suggests, tennis players in particular. Anyone who performs repetitive movements of the elbow, like a carpenter or painter, or who repeatedly moves the wrist forward and backward, such as tennis players on their backhand stroke, is susceptible. Such motions can strain tendons in the arm. Over time, the strain causes inflammation of the muscles and soft tissues around the elbow, and can also cause muscles in the arm to become unbalanced.
Ideally, extensor muscles, which pull the wrist up, work with equal force to flexor muscles, which pull the wrist down. But when one group is weaker than the other, problems can develop. With tennis elbow, the extensor muscle group on the outside of the forearm often becomes weak or relatively weaker than the flexor muscles on the inner forearm, leading to a muscle imbalance and ultimately inflammation and pain.
Tennis elbow can also develop in people who have good muscle balance but overuse their wrist extensor muscles. This is commonly referred to as a repetitive strain injury, and also leads to inflammation. Regardless of the cause, however, your chiropractor can decrease inflammation, restore proper muscle balance if necessary and help improve your pain-free range of motion.