Tennis Elbow

(Lateral Epicondylitis) 

What is tennis elbow/lateral epicondylitis

Tennis elbow occurs at the outer elbow, where the tendon attaches to the bone. It is an injury to the muscles that extend the fingers and wrist, usually occurring as a result of repetitive actions and gripping which are common to tennis and other sports. Other causes include unaccustomed hand use (such as excessive typing, painting, etc), excessive wringing action and poor forearm strength.

Common Presentation:

  • Pain when performing tasks that involve gripping/wringing

  • Pain with wrist and finger extension or when muscles are stretched

  • Tenderness over the bony epicondyle

  • Trigger points in the wrist

  • Difficulty lifting objects

Prevention:

  • Reduce any repetitive strain to forearm extensor

  • Stretching and strengthening of muscles will aid in prevention

  • Ensure regular breaks are taken when performing activities that may strain this muscle

Our Treatment Focus:

Physiotherapists can offer a conservative approach when managing patients with tennis elbow. Our treatment focuses on pain relief, restoring function and mobility and this is facilitated via a range of treatment techniques offered by our therapist:

 ​- Stretching and strengthening of forearm muscle

- Deep massage

- Dry needling

- Mobilisation techniques

At-home Exercise Recommendations

Please note that you should always consult with your doctor or physiotherapist prior to attempting these exercises. Alternatively, feel free to call us on 1300 16 16 88 to speak to one of our physiotherapists to see whether these exercises are suitable for you.

Place your arm out in front of you, with the hand pointing down. Pull the hand towards your body and you should feel a stretch throughout the back of the wrist, forearm and elbow. Hold the stretch for up to 20 seconds, and repeat up to 5 times.

Wrist extensor stretch

Place a rubber band over the tips of the fingers, as if making a beak shape. Move your fingers away from each other, against the resistance of the rubber band. Repeat this 10 to 20 times.

Finger Extension

Position the arm with forearm and palm facing down, with hands placed placed above. Attempt to extend the wrist backwards as if you were trying to point your fingers toward the ceiling, with your hand creating resistance. Maintain contraction for at least 5 seconds, and repeat up to 15 times.

Isometric Wrist Extension

This exercise is only advised once the above exercises can be completed comfortably and without pain. Use a light weight of around 1kg, and rest your arm over the edge of a flat surface such as a bench or table. Move your wrist with weight in hand from flexion to extension (down and up movements). Start with 1 set of 10 repetitions daily, and slowly build up to 3 sets of 20 repetitions. 

Dynamic Wrist Extension

* Hover on top of the images for description and video