Health Tips

Search by health tip group
Search by keyword

Health Tips / Tennis Elbow

Diagnosis and Symptons

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is caused by damage to the tendon that links the forearm muscles to the lateral epicondyle in the elbow. It is generally caused by repetitive overuse of the hand and wrist causing the tendon to become painful, inflamed or torn.
Tennis elbow is suffered by participants in racquet sports and any sport involving the use of hand and wrist. It is also common in everyday activities such as carpentry and mechanics.
Symptoms include pain in the lateral side of the elbow, tenderness, and pain on rotation of the hand and wrist. The symptoms worsen on repeated use and may be alleviated by applying pressure or support through a strap.

Preventative measures

Proper warm-up and stretching routines are vitally important in prevention particularly in sports where the risk of tennis elbow is high. Strengthening exercises for the wrist, hand and forearm may be beneficial, but not in the case of a current injury. Heeding early warning signs such as pain or soreness and allowing the injured tendon sufficient time to recover will help prevent the injury progressing. Other non-sport activities such as carpentry, typing etc., may worsen the condition and should be minimised.

Injuries are likely to occur if athletes exercise the hand or wrist to a greater level than normal over an extended time period. Gradual increases in the level of activity will allow the muscles and tendons to build up strength and flexibility.

Incorrect sports technique may also be a contributory factor. Lessons from a trained instructor may be beneficial not only to your performance but also in avoiding injury. This may also be applicable in non-sports activities such as carpentry.

Tennis elbow supports may prove useful. They provide increased support but do not offer an alternative to rest which is critical in severe tendonitis.


For serious injury always consult your doctor or physiotherapist. 
To find a Chartered Physiotherapist in your area check

Related health tips:
Last update: 16/05/2013 12:38 • Previous update: 30/11/-0001 00:00