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Tennis Elbow: Symptoms, Causes, Risks, and, Treatment

16 September, 2020 Kajal Bhavsar

What is Tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is a painful condition in which tendons in your elbow are getting overloaded, the causes could be repetitive motions of the arm and wrist.

Despite the name, it is not only seen in athletes. People doing jobs featuring the types of motions that can create issues like tennis elbow.

Plumbers, painters, carpenters, and butchers can come up with this type of disease.

In the first stage, this pain occurs where the tendons of your forearm muscles are attached to a bony bump on the outer side of your elbow. Pain might spread to your forearm and your wrist area.

To cure this pain rest and over-the-counter pain relievers can be helpful.

If conservative treatments can’t be helpful or if symptoms are being disabled, you might need surgery.

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What are the symptoms of tennis elbow?

The pain related to tennis elbow may radiate from the outer side of your elbow to your forearm and your wrist. It can make it difficult to:

  • Shake your hands
  • Griping an object
  • Turning a doorknob
  • Holding a coffee cup

Should you meet the doctor for a tennis elbow to take proper medical guidance?

Some self-care healing steps like rest, ice, and use of over-the-counter pain relievers are used primarily. If it doesn’t work you can arrange a visit to the doctor.

What are the causes of tennis elbow?

This is an overuse and muscle straining injury. The cause of tennis elbow is

repeated contraction of the forearm muscles which you are using to straighten and also to raise up your hand and wrist. Some repeated motions and stress to the tissue may result in the series of tiny tears in the tendon. This tendon attaches the forearm muscles to the bony prominence at the outer side of your elbow.

Playing tennis or especially the repeated use of the backhand stroke with poor technique is one of the basic possible causes of tennis elbow.

Still, many other

common arm motions

can also cause tennis elbow, including:

  • Use of plumbing tools
  • Painting
  • Driving the screws
  • Cutting up the cooking ingredients, particularly meat
  • Repetitive use of computer mouse

What risks can get developed when you’re having a tennis elbow?

It is more common in people of 30-50 age. It can make their routine disturbed.

Some people have jobs that include repetitive motions of the wrist and arm. They are having more chances to develop this tennis elbow. A few examples are plumbers, cooks, carpenters, butchers, and painters.

How can we conduct a diagnosis of tennis elbow?

During the physical examination, your doctor applies a little pressure to the affected part or asks you for moving your elbow, wrist, and fingers in various directional ways.

Your medical history and the physical exam provide enough information to diagnose tennis elbow syndrome. Sometimes in the presence of other symptoms, your doctor may suggest X-rays or other types of imaging tests for diagnosis.

Which treatments are available to cure tennis elbow completely?

If your symptoms are matched to tennis elbow, your doctor can suggest the experts evaluate your tennis techniques he can also suggest some movements involved in your daily job tasks to determine or divert into the best steps to avoid stress on your injured tissues.

A few exercises taught by physicians can gradually stretch and strengthen your muscles, especially the muscles of your forearm, and gives relaxation.

Eccentric exercises, in this lowering your wrist very slowly after raising it, are particularly helpful to feel relaxed. A forearm strap or brace can be helpful to reduce stress on the injured tissue.

Your doctor can suggest injecting platelet-rich plasma or botox in the form of an irritant (prolotherapy). These plasma or botox are inserted in the pain-causing the tendon to cure this problem. Dry needling, in which a needle pierces the damaged tendon in many places can also work out.

In ultrasonic tenotomy or TENEX procedure, under the ultrasound guidance, a doctor inserts a special needle through your skin and into the damaged portion of your tendon. Ultrasonic energy vibrates the needle so swiftly and so that damaged tissue liquefies and can be suctioned out of the body.

If the condition isn’t solved after six to 12 months of extensive non-operative treatment, you may need serious surgery to remove damaged tissue. A large incision or through several small incisions are used in such surgery. Rehabilitation exercises are too crucial for recovery.


Sometimes tennis elbow gets cured automatically using self-care over-the-counter pain medication or pain-relieving balm and creams. Other times it may need serious therapy. Sometimes surgery needed for serious cases.