Fixing Tennis Elbow

by | Mar 8, 2024 | Injuries & rehabilitation

A woman doing push ups on a mat experiences elbow pain.

While often referred to as tennis elbow, it affects not just tennis enthusiasts but people from all walks of life. In this blog, we will explore the symptoms you may experience, effective treatment options, pain-relieving techniques, and home management strategies to help you tackle tennis elbow effectively.

What is Tennis Elbow?

In the medical field, it’s known as lateral epicondylitis, signifying inflammation of the bony prominence on the outer edge of the elbow, known as the lateral epicondyle. This condition arises from the overuse or repetitive strain of the tendon that connects to this bone, leading to discomfort along the outer edge of your elbow and forearm.

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

Common symptoms include pain and tenderness on the outer side of the elbow, weak grip strength, and difficulty with simple tasks like lifting objects or even holding a cup. The pain can range from mild to severe and may worsen with certain movements.

Diagnosing Tennis Elbow

 If you suspect you have tennis elbow, it’s essential to seek professional help.

There are conditions that can mimic Tennis Elbow. As physiotherapists, we can diagnose the condition through a physical examination and may refer for imaging tests like X-rays or Ultrasound to rule out other issues, and refer if necessary.

 In our physical examination, we are looking at three key points to:

  1. Confirm the diagnosis.
  2. Identify contributing factors in your body such as fascial restrictions or joint stiffnesses imbalances.
  3. Identify what in your movement patterns and postures led to the overload of the tendon.

Physiotherapy for Tennis Elbow

We play a vital role in providing pain relief, offering education, and giving preventive advice.

Manual therapy corrects the restrictions within your movement system.

Low-level laser therapy facilitates healing and relieves pain.

Rehabilitation to correct imbalances or poor movement pattern that led to the injury

Your progressive loading program is the key to regaining a resilient tendon.  Once the diagnosis is confirmed and other injuries have been ruled out, we will be able to manage the injury accordingly, as rest alone isn’t sufficient for tennis elbow.

 Although rehab phases are specific to the injury healing timeline, this is the standard rehab framework:

1. Offload tendon and manage pain:

  • Correct wrist and forearm alignment
  • Rest and avoid overuse.
  • Use technique to minimise compression of the tendon.

2. Set the scene:

  • Start to fix the contributing factors.
  • Evaluate form and technique with activity.
  • Assess ergonomics and have a look at equipment.

3. Facilitate tendon healing:

  • Specific loading programmes
  • Strengthen the surrounding muscles.
  • Increase tendon load tolerance.

4. Increase tendon load tolerance.

  • Functional strength to work towards everyday stuff
  • Gradual increase in load

5. Get back to normal sports.

  • Higher-level training
  • Sport-specific rehabilitation
  • Return to sport

Lifestyle changes

Make the following adjustments to avoid aggravating the condition:

  • Avoid repetitive gripping and lifting with your palm down.
  • Refrain from using excessive force or squeezing.
  • Steer clear of high-impact sports or activities.
  • Adjust your workspace or equipment to reduce strain on the elbow.

Pain-relieving techniques

To manage pain at home, try the following techniques:

  • Gentle massage of the muscles in the forearm
  • Over-the-counter topical analgesic creams or gels may provide temporary relief.
  • Consider wearing braces to limit wrist movement.
  • In some cases, applying heat or ice to the affected area can help reduce pain.


Tennis elbow, though painful, can be managed effectively with physiotherapy. Understanding its causes, timely treatment, and preventive measures can minimise its impact, allowing a confident return to daily activities. Take the first step towards relief—book a consultation with us today.

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