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Tennis Elbow Symptoms - Tennis Elbow Treatment

Updated on June 16, 2010

What is Tennis Elbow?

The general definition of what tennis elbow is, is this:

"Painful inflammation of the tendon at the outer border of the elbow resulting from overuse of lower arm muscles (as in twisting of the hand)."

So what is tennis elbow in layman's terms? It's basically when the bending, and unbending of your elbow, is overused over a certain amount of time. Usually the tendons in your elbow are not used to strenous and repeated movements, and generally become enflamed when first used.

It can happen in many ways but mostly occurs during tennis and this is why it's called tennis elbow.


Hit the ball earlier to avoid tennis elbow.
Hit the ball earlier to avoid tennis elbow.

What causes Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is generally one of the worst fears for a tennis player. This is because it can leave a player off the courts for many weeks; tennis elbow is an injury that takes a long time to heal. Therefore it's important to be aware of what causes tennis elbow in order for you to avoid its consequences.

Tennis elbow is caused, generally, by the improper swinging of the racket. For example if you hit your forehand late - meaning you swing behind your body - you will cause your elbow to be put in an awkward position. Tennis elbow it caused by this whiplash factor, as your elbow tries to swing forward to compensate for hitting the ball late.

Also, like mentioned above, tennis elbow can be caused by the overuse of the muscle. If you haven't played a lot of tennis and then suddenly decide to play every day for a couple weeks, it's likely that you will feel some kind of tennis elbow.

How to avoid the causes of tennis elbow:

  • If you are hitting the ball late, force yourself to hit the ball extremely early. This will avoid getting tennis elbow, as well as get your swing back into form.
  • If you are just starting to play tennis again ease into things. Play every other day and be sure to rest and stretch the body. The best way to avoid tennis elbow is to avoid what causes tennis elbow.


Put the racket down if you get any of these tennis elbow symptoms.
Put the racket down if you get any of these tennis elbow symptoms.

Tennis Elbow Symptoms

What are the tennis elbow symptoms?

Unfortunately tennis elbow can occur even you try to avoid it as much as possible.  It's not the end of the world if you suddenly have tennis elbow symptoms - don't worry your career isn't over. 

Here is a list of tennis elbow symptoms:

  • Inflammation and pain on the outside of the elbow.
  • Weakness in the wrist.
  • Weak hand grip.
  • When you bend your elbow backwards you feel some pain.  (Without resistance).
  • Pain when your fingers are straightened without resistance. 
All these tennis elbow symptoms won't always appear when you have tennis elbow.  Generally out of all these tennis elbow symptoms, only one or two will be felt. 


Tennis Elbow Treatment

How can you treat tennis elbow?

Luckily there are many different ways of tennis elbow treatment.  About 90% of the time these tennis elbow treatments will work, but - in odd cases - surgery may be required. 

Here is a list of different tennis elbow treatment:

  • The most obvious tennis elbow treatment - rest. 
  • Ice the elbow and the area around it for at least 20 minutes a day, six times a day.  This should reduce the pain, and the inflammation of tennis elbow. 
  • Take some anti-inflammatory medications. 
  • There are straps now that are specifically designed for tennis elbow treatment.  They will greatly reduce strain on the tendon. 
  • In severe tennis elbow cases, treatment requires steroid injections.  This can reduce pain for up to six months at a time. 
  • Also in severe tennis elbow treatment physiotherapy exercises will be required daily. 


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    • profile image

      ariewayq 6 years ago

      Tennis Elbow Symptoms

      nice article

    • cookibuq profile image

      cookibuq 7 years ago from Ireland / Hong Kong

      Interesting hub.Would like to know more about the physiotherapy exercises. Thanks for the info