Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)
Frequently asked questions
A: Yes, tennis elbow braces or straps work. To relieve pressure and aid healing, these devices apply a counterforce or tension to the muscle below the affected area.
Wear the brace snugly, but not too tightly. If you feel numbness or tingling in your hand, loosen the brace slightly.
You should continue to wear the brace during regular activities for a few weeks until your symptoms improve.
A: Most people fully recover from tennis elbow within a year. However, symptoms may last 6 months – 2 years.
In general, most people get better without treatment by resting the arm and stopping the activity which led to the injury.
A: An arthroscopy, a minimally invasive surgery to treat joint problems, takes less than an hour to complete. Open surgery may take longer, depending on your condition.
A: To prevent further episodes of tennis elbow, consider:
- Physiotherapy to stretch the inflamed tendon, build up the strength of your forearm and learn correct ways of distributing force across your muscles.
- Warming up and stretching your arm before playing sports.
- Stopping or changing the way you use your arm in the activity which led to the injury (e.g. modifying your technique of playing sports).
- Checking your equipment for correct fit (e.g. racquet size and weight).
- Using braces to support your elbow.
A: No, with proper rest and treatment, you should recover from your tennis elbow. However, there is a risk of developing chronic pain if your tennis elbow is left untreated.
After recovery, your tennis elbow may also recur.
A: Yes, patients with tennis elbow may benefit from physiotherapy. Your physiotherapist may:
- Use massage and manipulation to improve blood circulation and relieve pain and stiffness in your elbow.
- Teach you exercises such as fist clench, wrist extension or wrist flexion to strengthen your forearm muscles.