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What should I know about classic “tennis elbow”?

What is it?
Lateral epicondylalgia, more commonly known as “tennis elbow”, is a common chronic injury to the tendons (tissues that attach a muscle to a bone) that are attached to the outer part of the elbow. This type of injury will often lead to pain and/or tenderness around the outside of the elbow, and may affect the ability to grip and bend the wrist backwards.

Common causes
The main cause of lateral epicondylalgia is due to the overuse of the elbow and wrist over time. More specifically, it commonly results after performing activities that involve repetitive motions of straightening the elbow, and bending and turning of the wrist. This overuse can result in small tears and deterioration of the tendons that control these areas. These tendons are not given enough time to heal, which contributes to the duration of the injury.

Signs & symptoms
• pain and/or tenderness over the outside elbow
• pain travelling down from the elbow into the forearm and wrist
• increased pain with repetitive motions of the arm and elbow (especially with elbow straightening and backward bending of the wrist) that gets better with rest
• increased pain when pressure is applied over the outside elbow and forearm muscles
• pain that increases in the evening

Treatment plan
We provide individualized treatment plans that may include but not limit to guided stretching and strengthening exercises, hands on mobilization, transverse friction massage and modalities to reduce pain, improve muscle integrity and maximize participation back to work & daily activities.


By: Jie (Janet) Yang, PT.


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