Source: NHS Choice
Tennis elbow is a condition that causes pain around the outside of the elbow.
It's clinically known as lateral epicondylitis.
It often occurs after strenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm, near the elbow joint.
You may notice pain:
- on the outside of your upper forearm, just below the bend of your elbow
- when lifting or bending your arm
- when gripping small objects, such as a pen
- when twisting your forearm, such as turning a door handle or opening a jar
If you have tennis elbow, you will usually experience:
- pain on the outside of your upper forearm, just below your elbow – the pain may also travel down your forearm towards your wrist
- pain when lifting or bending your arm
- pain when writing or gripping small objects – for example, when holding a pen
- pain when twisting your forearm – for example, when turning a door handle or opening a jar
- pain and stiffness when fully extending your arm
An episode of tennis elbow will usually last between six months and two years. However, the majority of people (90%) will make a full recovery within a year.
Holding a cold compress, such as a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel, against your elbow for a few minutes several times a day can help ease the pain.
Manual tasks, such as lifting, you may need to avoid until the pain in your arm improves.
Taking painkillers, such as paracetamol, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may help ease mild pain and inflammation caused by tennis elbow.
Your GP may refer you to a Occupational Therapist if your tennis elbow is causing more severe or persistent pain. Occupational Therapist are healthcare professionals who use a variety of methods to restore movement to injured areas of the body.
Your OT may use manual therapy techniques, such as massage and manipulation, to relieve pain and stiffness, and encourage blood flow to your arm. They can also show you exercises you can do to keep your arm mobile and strengthen your forearm muscles.
The use of an orthoses – such as a brace, strapping, support bandage or splint – may also be recommended in the short term.
For more info contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or ask for an OT Assesment on 0845 555 2526