Lateral Epicondylalgia (Tennis Elbow)

Tennis elbow is the common name for pain radiating from the outside of the elbow. It is most often caused by overuse of the forearm muscles causing inflammation of the tendons (such as in tennis).It is suspected that small tears in the tendon cause tennis elbow from overuse – these begin to heal but are re-injured by continued use. This injured tendon becomes fixed in a state of degeneration similar to scar tissue.The symptoms of tennis elbow are;

  • Difficulty holing onto, picking up or griping objects.
  • Pain, stiffness and/or decreased elbow and hand movement.
  • Forearm and muscle tightness.
  • Insufficient functional strength
  • Point tenderness around the outside of the elbow.


Treatment involves:

  • An initial focus on the R.I.C.E protocol, resting and icing to help minimise inflammation and pain.
  • If the condition is long standing the Physiotherapist may employ modalities to help increase blood supply and stimulate healing.
  • Exercises focussing on the eccentric action of movement, hoping to both strengthen and correct the alignment of the internal fibres.
  • Stretching is also given as a means to correct the alignment of fibres.
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