On either side of the elbow are bony bumps called epicondyles, where the tendons from the muscles of the forearm attach. The tendons on the lateral (or the side of the forearm above the thumb) epicondyle can accumulate micro-tears, usually the result of overuse of the elbow from repetitive movements of the wrist and arm from similar to swinging a tennis racquet. This creates a long-lasting inflammation (“-itis”, hence the scientific name “lateral epicondylitis”) that builds a lot of scar tissue, which can pinch nerves and make it harder to flex the fingers of your hand without pain. Interestingly, athletes are not the ones who are diagnosed with tennis elbow. Rather, people whose job requires repetitive movements, such as plumbers, painters, or butchers, are most commonly diagnosed with this condition.