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Tennis Elbow

  • What is tennis elbow?

    Tennis elbow refers to pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow caused by swelling of one of the tendons that join the forearm muscles to the elbow. The forearm muscles and tendons become damaged from overuse.

  • Tennis elbow is typically caused by the motion of a tennis downstroke. The muscle of the forearm becomes weak from overuse and small tears form in tendon fibres that attach the muscle to the elbow, causing pain and swelling. As the elbow bends and straightens, the muscle rubs against bony bumps in the forearm, which can cause wear and tear of the muscle over time.

    Tennis elbow can happen to anyone who uses their forearm muscle regularly. It is common in painters, plumbers, carpenters, cooks and butchers.

  • The symptoms of tennis elbow are similar to those of golfer’s elbow, except that tennis elbow causes pain on the outside of the elbow. Other symptoms include:

    • Pain spreading down your arm
    • Worsening pain when using your forearm – eg. holding a racquet, turning a wrench or shaking hands
  • Treatment usually includes:

    • A brace centred over the back of your forearm, which may help to relieve symptoms by resting the muscles and tendons.
    • Checking your racquet for correct fit to prevent symptoms from recurring
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and swelling
    • Rest with no sports or heavy work activities for several weeks
    • Wrist-stretching exercises
    • Steroid injections if other treatments are not successful
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    There are 18 SpecialistsView All