Can driving cause tennis elbow?

I’m a sales rep who needs to drive around often to meet clients. I’ve recently started feeling some strain in my elbows and wanted to know if driving has caused the onset of tennis elbow. Can you get tennis elbow from driving?

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Answer provided by
Tiffany Leung
Answered on Apr 04, 2022
Hopefully, your elbow strain eases up with some rest! The repetitive motions of steering and changing gears without rest when you’re driving can cause tennis elbow—or ‘lateral epicondylitis’, if you want to get more scientific.
Early symptoms of tennis elbow include forearm and elbow stiffness, cold or numb hands, sore elbows, and pain when you grip items. This can progress from occasional small aches to frequent sharp pains.
To prevent your symptoms from worsening, you can try the following:
  • Correct your driving posture, ensuring that the steering wheel is 25–30 cm from your breastbone. Your back should be flat against the seat set at 100 degrees.
  • Check that there is sufficient power steering fluid to ensure that minimal effort is required when you are turning the car.
  • Take breaks to allow your muscles to relax. Do some stretches so that your muscles don’t stay tensed up.
  • Exercise daily to maintain good circulation to your arms and elbows.
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