Tennis Elbow



What is "Tennis Elbow" (or) Lateral Epicondylitis

Tennis elbow is an overuse and musculo-tendinous strain injury. The cause is repeated contraction of the (extensor) forearm muscles that are used to straighten and raise your hand and wrist. The repeated motions and stress to the tissue may result in pain, inflammation, and a series of tiny tears in the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the bony prominence at the outside of your elbow.

As the name suggests, sports like tennis — particularly using the backhand stroke with poor technique — is one possible cause of tennis elbow. However, more common arm motions can cause the condition including:

  • Using tools
  • Painting
  • Even mousing on your computer


The pain associated with tennis elbow may radiate from the outside of your elbow into your forearm and wrist. Pain and weakness may make it difficult to:

  • Shake hands
  • Turn a doorknob
  • Hold a coffee cup

When to see a doctor

Conditions like this are often self-limiting provided you take steps to minimize or avoid activities causing the problem.  Try conservative home care including rest, ice, massage techniques, and therapeutic exercise.  See your doctor if this doesn't resolve the issue.  

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