Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How to Treat and Prevent Tennis Elbow

In tennis, when you constantly swing your racquet it forces the muscles and tendons in the forearms to work excessively. This can often lead to inflammation in the elbow—known as Tennis Elbow.

Not only is Tennis Elbow an uncomfortable and irritating physical condition, but it forces people to take time off the court which does a number on an avid player’s mental and physical well-being. If you find that you are suffering from Tennis Elbow, here is some information that will help you.

Signs you are suffering from Tennis Elbow 

Although Tennis Elbow is quite explicit in its symptoms, there are a few factors to take into consideration to make sure that you really do have Tennis Elbow:

  • Pain occurs in the elbow when using the forearms and wrist, such as grabbing and lifting objects
  • Pain radiates from the outer part of the elbow 
  • Pain does not significantly subside throughout the day (i.e. chronic) 
Before you rush to a diagnosis, it’s in your best interest to seek out a medical professional so that they can give you the proper diagnosis, and advice going forward.


Because Tennis Elbow is chronic and not acute, it is not a quick fix. Here are the most common treatments that doctors will recommend and that you should consider:

Rest and Relaxation: Tennis Elbow is a product of inflammation, and therefore it is necessary to rest the affected arm. This will allow the tightness and pain to subside. Not only does this mean taking time off from the court, but also avoiding any activities that will put undue stress on the forearm and wrist.

Physical Therapy: For many cases of Tennis Elbow, physical therapy will be suggested. During this time, therapists will work to strengthen the muscles and tendons in the forearms to both treat the pain, and prevent it from returning down the road.

Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will likely improve pain in the short term, yet they are not sufficient to treat the underlying causes of tennis elbow. Check with your doctor for more information.

Surgery: Surgery is rarely needed or suggested, except in cases of extended discomfort. This will usually be after 6 to 12 months of consistent treatment.


One reason people are so prone to Tennis Elbow is because of the nature of tennis, that is, it requires the use of repetitive ground strokes. This begs the question, however, as to why tennis pros don’t get tennis elbow.

It would seem inevitable that these pros, who practice hours a day virtually every day, don’t often suffer from tennis Elbow. So what’s their secret?

Technique: There is a lot of speculation, and evidence, that suggests Tennis Elbow can often be caused by poor form. Incorrect placement of the wrist, as well as poor grip technique, can exacerbate the likelihood of getting elbow pain. If you take tennis seriously, it’s likely that you have a coach or have a ‘tennis expert’ in your circle of playing partners. If not, then you may want to consider signing up for a few lessons, so that you can learn correct form to prevent injury down the road.

An Exercise Regimen: Because Tennis Elbow is caused by overuse of the forearm muscles and tendons, it is essential to strengthen these outside of tennis. Consider lifting weights a few times a week, as doing so will build muscles all over the body. You don’t need an intense routine; any moderate weight lifting will be sufficient to stimulate strength in the forearms.

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