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You don`t have to play tennis to suffer from Tennis Elbow!

Tennis elbow, or medically known as lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition that often occurs when tendons in the elbow are overloaded, and or overused, usually by repetitive motions of the wrist and arm.

The tendon usually involved in tennis elbow is called the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis (ECRB).

This becomes inflamed or, in some cases, can result, small little tears can occur. The forearm muscles and tendons become damaged from overuse — repeating the same motions again and again. This leads to pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow, but pain can also spread into the forearm and wrist.

Athletes are not the only people who get tennis elbow. Many people with tennis elbow participate in work or recreational activities that require repetitive and vigorous use of the forearm muscle or repetitive extension of the wrist and hand.

The symptoms of tennis elbow tend to develop gradually.

In most cases, the pain begins as mild and slowly progresses over weeks and months. Generally, there is no specific injury associated with the onset of symptoms - however, it can be associated with a rapid increase of load going through the forearm.

Common signs and symptoms of tennis elbow include:

  • Pain and / or burning on the outer part of the elbow

  • Weakened grip strength ( with / without associated pain)

  • Radiating pain along the forearm

  • Occasional pain at night

The symptoms are often worsened with forearm activity, such as holding a racquet, gripping, turning a wrench, cooking, or prolonged computer usage.

Treatment for Tennis Elbow is multifactorial, and should include succinct patient education on the condition, rehabilitation exercises, load management of the soft tissues, manual therapy, dry needling and occasionally in chronic conditions, a steroid injection.

Specific rehabilitation exercises should aim to stretch and strengthen the forearm muscles. The goal is to promote muscle endurance and improve resistance to repetitive stress.

An example of one exercise to perform is to strengthen the wrist extensors, using a light weight (or a bottle of water / tin of beans if you have no weights) -

- with your forearm supported and palm facing downwards, bend your wrist up as far as possible - hold up for 1-2 seconds, then slowly lower for 3 seconds.

Gradually increase the repetitions until you can complete 30.

As with any injury concern, it is important to visit a Chartered Physiotherapist for a specific diagnosis, and a tailored rehabilitation programme.

Consistency with your prescribed home exercise programme is vital to ensure optimal recovery.

Contact us here @ Elite for further information.

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