Tennis elbow

What is tennis elbow

Lateral epicondylitis is a medical term for tennis elbow. The painful area is right on the outside bony part of your elbow, sometimes it radiates into your forearm. The extensor tendons are injured at the the insertion into the bone. The muscle we can blame most is the extensor carpi radialis brevis. This muscle participates in turning your palm forward with your elbow extended and with the elbow flexed turns the palm down. When the extensor tendons se overloaded with repetitive motion, they can get inflamed causing pain.

What is the cause

Tennis elbow is caused by repeated movements of the wrist that overload the forearm tendons. It is most common in manual laborers, like painters, plumbers, mechanics and you have guessed, tennis players.


If your symptoms started less than a week ago, rest and icing your elbow will most likely be enough. However, if you are struggling with this condition for longer, the first treatment choice is physical therapy. Physical therapy uses therapeutic exercises, manual therapy, taping and other modalities to reduce pain and assist with the healing process. Your physical therapist can also help you determine why you developed tennis elbow and can implement postural correction to help you prevent it after you finished your rehabilitation.

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Magdalena Pertoldova, PT, MPT