Thrive Physio

Tennis Elbow



Tennis elbow, a condition also known as lateral epicondylitis that occurs in the tendon that connects a long muscle located in the forearm to the elbow. This tendon is the extensor carpi radialis brevis. The injury often happens due to repetitive motions or from an existing injury. The overuse of the muscle causes inflammation in the tendons and results in pain.

What can cause tennis elbow?

There are a few activities that can result in a Tennis elbow.

  • Playing any sports that involves twisting of wrist and overuse of forearm such as Tennis, Badminton etc.

  • Carpentry- using tools such as hammers and screwdrivers 

  • Typing with your wrists extended for long periods of time. 

  • Painting – while using the paintbrush

  • Kneading dough - with hands that uses wrists movement

  • Gardening - while using shears

  • Other activities that involve continuous and repetitive wrists movement

Sports such as Tennis and of those that use rackets are most likely to cause the tennis elbow. However, only 5% of the people who play such sport are known to suffer the injury. Sometimes Lateral epicondylitis can occur without any known or recognized repetitive injury. This incident is called "insidious" and is of unknown cause.



Different people with tennis elbow feel the different pain around the outer part of elbow. Symptoms of tennis elbow develop slowly over the time and the pain can go from mild to severe. There is no specific injury related to the symptoms.

People with Tennis elbow usually experience:

  • Pain while twisting the forearm – for example, while opening a door through a knob.

  • Stiffness in the forearm

  • Difficulty extending elbow

  • Pain referring down the arm into the wrist.

  • Irritation while writing or holding small objects 



Tennis elbow can be diagnosed by the physiotherapist by simply talking to you about your symptoms and then further examining the arm. Detailed interview by your physiotherapist about the history of the pain, occupational risk factors, sports activities and previous injuries. 



Tennis elbow can be treated in several ways depending on the severity of the injury. With the proper treatment of tennis elbow pain can be reduced and strength in the forearm and wrist can be gained. Book-in to your physiotherapist about exercises for exercise relevant to you. 



Tennis elbow takes around 6-24 months to heal completely. However, most people start feeling better within 6 weeks from initial symptoms:

  • Apply the ice packs at the area of injury every day for about 10 - 15 minutes and 2-4 times.

  • Avoiding any activity that caused the Injury for some time. For example, avoiding work related risks or sports related risks that might have caused the inflammation

  • Use tennis elbow strap to cover the area of injury. This will help reducing risk of further strain in the tendons. These are easily available at pharmacies and are cheap.

  • Exercising can greatly help heal the injury. There is a good range of motion exercises that your doctor might recommend you do at least 2 times a day



  • A physiotherapist can treat your tennis elbow and can also show you various exercises to heal your injury.

  • Physiotherapy will help strengthen the forearm and muscle.

  • A physiotherapist can also recommend you the right motion or movement of the wrist and forearm which will help heal the elbow

  • A physiotherapist will explore how the pain influences your life and will lay out an individual plan for you



  • If the pain is excessive advice about pain relief can be taken 

  • Anti-inflammatory medications such ibuprofen may help reduce the irritation in the area

  • There are some anti-inflammatory creams that can be rubbed on the tennis elbow

Do not assume the worst.
This information is here for your knowledge. 

Book in with one of our team members for a proper assessment.

We will help you with your journey to recovery.