Quick Facts on Tennis Elbow

Fun Fact: This condition is commonly called “tennis elbow”, yet only 10% of people that have this injury play tennis.

Other names:

  • Lateral epicondylalgia
  • Lateral epicondylopathy
  • Lateral epicondylitis
  • Common Extensor Origin (CEO) tendinitis/tendinopathy

What is tennis elbow?

  • An injury to the tendons where they connect to the bone on the outside of the elbow
  • Typically involves the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) muscle tendon, but other tendons can be affected as well
  • If your palm is facing down, it generally affects the muscles that extend/lift your hand and fingers towards the ceiling

What causes tennis elbow?

  • Excess strain on the tendons
  • Repetitive/chronic overuse 
  • High force/torque placed on the muscles (often related to sports or occupation)

What are the symptoms of tennis elbow?

  • Pain and/or weakness with gripping (i.e. lifting groceries)
  • Pain with typing and using the mouse at work
  • Pain with wrist extension (i.e. taking a plate down from a high cabinet)
  • Pain worse at night
  • Stiffness in the morning
  • Tenderness/bruised feeling on outside of elbow
  • Pain with forearm rotation movements (i.e. opening jars or using a screwdriver)

How can therapy help?

  • Advice on modifying certain activities based on your specific case
  • Exercises to help with pain relief, improve strength and function, and help you return to your activities. This is the most evidence-based treatment for this condition.
  • Hands-on manual therapy or acupuncture to help with pain relief and movement of your arm

For a more detailed explanation on tendon pain and injuries, check out our tendon pain blog.