Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition of the elbow caused by overuse. Tennis elbow is an inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow.
The cause is repeated contraction of the forearm muscles that you use to straighten and raise your hand and wrist.
- daily activities such as:
- using scissors
- cutting tough food
- sporting activities that involve high amounts of throwing
- Manual work that involves repetitive turning or lifting of the wrist, such as plumbing, typing, or bricklaying.
- Unknown causes
- Pain or burning on the outer part of your elbow
- Weak grip strength
Pain and weakness may make it difficult to:
- Shake hands or grip an object
- Turn a doorknob
- Hold a coffee cup
Fast facts on tennis elbow
- Tennis elbow is caused by small tears in the tendons that join the forearm to the outside of the elbow.
- 50 percent of tennis players will experience tennis elbow.
- Overuse of the forearm with incorrect wrist action can lead to tennis elbow.
- Physiotherapy, support devices, and steroid injections can be used to treat the condition.
- Certain exercises that provide strength to the supportive muscles in the arm and shoulder, such as the Tyler Twist, can help symptoms.
- Stretch carefully ahead of racquet sports to prevent tennis elbow.
Symptoms develop over time and may gradually worsen over weeks or months. Nonsurgical treatment includes:
- Palm down wrist curl with dumbbell
- Supination with a dumbbell
- Wrist extensor stretch
- Wrist flexion and extension
- Towel / rubber band twist
- Ball squeezing