Watch our Workplace Health Provider Max Cohrssen explain the occurrence of tennis elbow injuries in workplace settings:
Tennis elbow is a frequently reported condition in several working populations, such as computer users, manufacturing workers, and service workers
Tennis elbow is typically a chronic overuse injury and relates to degeneration of the tendon. The tendon can degenerate when load applied exceeds the tendon’s tolerance, causing microtears of the tendon. Multiple microtears lead to degenerative changes within the tendon.
Slow and heavy effort allows tendons to adapt to stress, whereas speed and/or repetition can cause overload. Once the tendon is painful, it is likely to be underused, which will again change the tendon structure, leading to progressive weakening and further risk of injury.
Unfortunately, speedy repetitive tasks are common in manufacturing and processing industries, leaving these workers more vulnerable to tendon overload injuries.
There can be large variability in causes for this pain, including:
Tennis elbow is the most common elbow condition affecting 1–3% of the population. It is more prevalent in those who are middle-aged (40–60 years) and typically affects the dominant arm, especially when exposed to daily repetitive motions.
It has been linked to actions involving:
“It is a frequently reported condition in several working populations, such as computer users, manufacturing workers, and service workers.” (Work‐relatedness of lateral epicondylitis)
Smoking, obesity, increased elbow carrying angle and prior corticosteroid use are contributing risk factors associated with the development of tennis elbow. Psychosocial factors associated with tennis elbow include low job control and low social support.
The prognosis for tennis elbow injuries is generally good, with the condition resolving within 12 months. There are many things employers can do to help with recovery, including:
Tennis elbow, despite its name, can affect workers in various settings where they handle tools and/or perform daily repetitive motions. An onsite early intervention program helps to provide treatment at the first sign of pain, resulting in better outcomes, preventing injuries from escalating and helping employees continue working. A comprehensive onsite injury management program can also make suggestions based on data collected, thus enabling workplace changes to be implemented to reduce or eliminate risks.
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