Treating Tennis Elbow – expert self treatment advice

Treating Tennis Elbow - advice from the experts

Treating Tennis Elbow at home can be done effectively with rest and the correct treatment advice. The condition produces a recurring pain on the outside of your elbow and is medically known as Lateral Epicondylitis.

Tennis elbow is a painful condition that comes and goes. It’s an irritation to the lateral epicondyle, the bony point on the humerus, where the extensor muscles of the hand and wrist insert.

What causes Tennis Elbow?

There are three groups of muscles that insert onto the lateral epicondyle. The first muscle is supinator, this is responsible for turning the hand from a downwards facing position to an upwards facing position. It’s the muscle that we use for twisting a screwdriver for example.

The second group of muscles are the finger extensors and they’re responsible for straightening the fingers. When you make a fist and you want to open the hand out these are the muscles that contract to move the fingers into an open position.

The third group of muscles are wrist extensors and these six muscles are responsible for for taking the wrist from a downwards facing position to a flat and extended position. These muscles insert on a common, bony landmark, being the lateral epicondyle on the elbow.

What happens with tennis elbow is that initially there’s an overuse or perhaps a misuse and it can be through sports or through repetitive movements at work, using a mouse for example, the fine movements of using a mouse can irritate the lateral epicondyle and it becomes irritated and inflamed. This inflammatory fluid causes pain.

Inflammation is a pain mediator which causes a contraction in the muscles. That pain causes the muscles to become shortened meaning the condition becomes chronic. Shortened muscles cause further pulling on the insertion point of the lateral epicondyle and the condition just becomes cyclical.

If you want to stay active then it can be difficult treating Tennis elbow. It tends to get better with rest or generally taking it easy. Using ice therapy on the elbow sometimes makes it feel better but, whenever you return to your sport or activity, it always flares up and comes back.

Treating Tennis Elbow effectively?

If you suspect that you have Tennis Elbow then get your symptoms assessed with our pain assessment tool.

Once you’ve identified the likely cause you’ll be able to download a treatment guide. It will tell you everything you need to know about Tennis Elbow (Epicondylitis). It will help you manage the pain and more importantly it will tell you how to rehabilitate this condition to stop it coming back.

Start your Pain Assessment Get the Treatment Guide

Watch the ‘Effective treatment for Tennis Elbow’ video here

Other resources

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)
Exercises for Tennis Elbow