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What is Tennis Elbow?


The medical term for tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis because it affects the outside of the elbow bone called the lateral epicondyle. The cause of the problem is damage to a tendon that joins the extensor muscles of the forearm to the upper arm bone (hummers). This tendon is called the common extensor tendon (see diagram).


Tendon damage can occur after a single incident, such as lifting something very heavy, causing a tear in the tendon. But the most common cause is repeated overuse of the arm.


This overuse causes tiny tears (called micro tears) in the tendon. You will make this worse if you continue doing the activity that triggered the pain and if you don’t rest your arm. If you continue aggravating the injury you may get a more serious tear or even rupture your tendon.

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Causes and risk factors


Playing tennis three times in a week when you haven’t played for repetitive movement of hand, wrist & forearm can be the cause these include some time is the sort of overuse that could cause tennis elbow. But most people who develop tennis elbow have not been playing tennis. A range of different activities that involve repeated hand, wrist and forearm movements can be the cause. These include:


  • Using a computer mouse (especially if you have poor arm and neck posture)
  • Using a computer keyboard
  • Using vibrating equipment, such as strimmers
  • Using scissors or shears
  • Gardening
  • Manual occupations that involve repetitive twisting and lifting of the wrist – including plumbing, bricklaying and use of a screwdriver
  • Playing musical instruments such as the violin




The main symptom is pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow and sometimes in the muscles on top of the forearm. Tennis elbow usually affects the arm of your dominant hand (right arm if you are right-handed) because this is the arm you use the most.


The symptoms usually develop gradually. The pain may go away after a day or so. But if you repeat the activity that triggered the pain, it may get worse as you will increase the damage to your tendon. The pain may become constant and pain may even interrupt your sleep.


Other symptoms include:


  • Stiffness in the morning and painful when you turn door handles or shake hands.
  • Arm feels weak and heavy
  • The pain may radiate to your neck or shoulder of the arm affected.




Exactly how you do this depends on how you came to have tennis elbow and how severe it is.


Treatment for tennis elbow includes the following.


  • Reduce inflammation and pain. Acupuncture, ultrasound, tens deep tissue massage and correcting posture. For tennis elbow that has failed to heal with normal treatment, a doctor may suggest a steroid injection, which can help relieve pain and inflammation.
  • Activity modification. Your physiotherapist can advise you on how to improve your posture, or improve your technique at sports and other activities to help prevent further injuries. They will ease your ADLS
  • Rehabilitation. This involves strengthening exercises and stretching.
  • Gripping exercises. This will help to giving rest your tendon which has inflamed due to repetitive activity.

Home Treatment


You may need to change your daily activities to rest your injured area


  • Apply an ice pack – to reduce the pain and swelling. Immerse your arm in ice for 10 minutes or use an ice pack (a bag of frozen peas will do) for 10 to 30 minutes. Don’t apply the ice directly to your skin because it can cause cold injury – place a cloth between the ice your skin. Repeat every couple of hours as needed for the next 48 hours, allowing your arm to warm up between ice sessions.
  • Precaution Do not put ice directly on your skin – can cause cold injury
  • Take anti-inflammatory medicine
  • Wear an arm brace – this is a form of strapping that you can wear around your forearm and elbow to help restrict the movement of your tendon.
  • Modify technique – when doing a manual task you can’t avoid, use a tool with a smaller grip. If available. They can give advice on how to change your daily activity at work to allow your arm to heal.


Rehab For Tennis Elbow: The Super 7


The “super 7” exercises are an important part of treatment for tennis elbow. They are designed to strengthen the muscles in the forearm and increase flexibility through stretching. These exercises will help relieve elbow pain in about 4 to 6 week Each stretching exercise is held for 30 seconds and repeated 2 or 3 times. This pattern is repeated 5 times a day.


  • Exercise 1. Stretching the wrist extensors the position for hold 30 second and repetitive Straighten the arm out fully and push the palm of the hand down so you feel a stretch across the top of the forearm.
  • Exercise 2. Stretching the muscles that flex the wrist (flexor muscles): straighten the arm out fully (palm side up), and push the palm downward to stretch. Strengthening exercises are performed twice a day following the stretching exercises. To perform these exercises, the patient sits in a chair with the elbow supported on the edge of a table or on the arm of the chair the wrist hanging over the edge. Use a light weight such as a hammer or soup can when performing the strengthening exercises. Repeat the exercises 30 to 50 times, twice a day, but do not push yourself beyond the point of pain.
  • Exercise 3. Strengthening wrist extensor muscles: Hold the weight in the hand with the palm facing down. Extend the wrist upward so that it is pulled back. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then lower slowly.
  • Exercise 4. Strengthening wrist flexor muscles: Hold the weight in the hand with the palm up. Pull the wrist up, hold for 10 seconds and lower slowly.
  • Exercise 5. Strengthening the muscles that move the wrist from side to side (deviator muscles): Hold the weight in the hand with the thumb pointing up. Move the wrist up and down, much like hammering a nail. All motion should occur at the wrist.
  • Exercise 6. Strengthening the muscles that twist the wrist (pronator and supinator muscles): Hold the weight in the hand with the thumb pointing up. Turn the wrist inward as far as possible and then outward as far as possible. Hold for 2 seconds and repeat as much as pain allows, up to 50 repetitions.
  • Exercise 7. Myofascial release is performed over the area of soreness. Apply firm pressure using 2 fingers on the area of pain and rub for 5 minutes.If exercise aggravates any of your symptoms, contact a physician or physical therapist These exercises can be used to prevent or rehabilitate injuries in people who play sports or in those who do repetitive forearm work.