Lateral Epicondylitis (aka Tennis Elbow)

Tennis elbow is a repetitive-motion injury that is caused when the wrist forearm muscles (extensors and supinators) are overloaded. When the tendons cannot handle the load, small micro tears begin to occur and eventually you feel pain and weakness. Common activities like the following can evoke your symptoms:

  • playing tennis
  • using tools (plumbers, painters, cooks, etc…)
  • holding a coffee mug
  • turning a door knob
  • shaking hands
  • gripping anything


Initial treatment should include:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Pain-relievers (consult your MD)
  • Technique improvement
  • Strapping

Physical Therapy is a great way to get relief and address the underlying issues and eventually strengthen the areas. Don’t expect a quick fix with this injury as it takes your body about 6 weeks to build new muscle. Treatment should include:

  • Gentle stretching
  • Isometric and eccentric strengthening
  • Soft tissue and manual techniques
  • Address technique if it’s sports-related
  • Home exercise program







Published by Blake Russell

Olympian, physical therapist, mom

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