Medicine: Hacker's Hazard

A handshake becomes an ordeal. Turning a doorknob sends twinges of pain through the forearm. Swinging a racket at a tennis ball—especially if the ball hits off center—causes a sensation that some players compare with being hit in the elbow by a hammer. These are all symptoms of an ailment that has long been familiar to doctors and athletes but is now becoming epidemic in America: tennis elbow.

Javelin throwers, football and baseball players and even violinists often suffer identical symptoms. But it is because of the mushrooming popularity of tennis that doctors' waiting rooms are filling with victims of the...

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