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How Physiotherapy Can Help Tennis Elbow

physiotherapy for tennis elbow

Tennis Elbow: Causes, Treatments, and Exercises

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a condition that refers to pain in the forearm tendons and muscles attached to the bone on the outside of the elbow (lateral epicondyle). It is an overuse injury causing pain on the outside of the elbow. Even if you don’t play tennis, it can still affect you. It is characterised by swollen tendons in your forearm and wrist.

The article will cover the causes, treatment options and exercises that can relieve tennis elbow pain. Contact the Northern Districts Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic today for more information on pain management.

Common Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

If you are noticing pain in your lower arms but aren’t sure if it’s tennis elbow, have a look at the following symptoms:

  • Pain originating on the outside of the elbow
  • Swelling, weakness or stiffness of the forearm
  • Pain that is aggravated by gripping or lifting, when the palm is turned downwards
  • Experiencing stiffness after long periods of rest
  • Experiencing pain when gripping or shaking hands
  • Tenderness on the bony point on the outside of the elbow

Severe causes also report a burning pain in the affecting area, reducing the muscle movement and strength they may previously have due to avoidance. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact our clinic for an assessment.

Causes of Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is caused by the ongoing strain and overuse of the wrist, leading to the inflammation of affected tendons and forearm muscles. It is often caused by continuous bending and turning of the forearm and wrist muscles. As the tendon bends back and forward, the increase in movement causes the tendon to become swollen and irritated.

It can also occur when there is a lack of strength or flexibility in the forearm and shoulder muscles. This lack of strength combined with poor technique during sporting activities can lead to a pulling of the tendons causing pain and inflammation.

It is most commonly found in patients who regularly partake in racquet sports, tennis, hockey, and swimming. It can also occur in new sports participants who haven’t been properly trained in techniques. For example, if you start playing tennis regularly but have an incorrect hold of your racket – the repeated shock of the ball hitting your net can build and cause pain or inflammation of your lower arm.

But they aren’t the only ones affected, as repetitive work tasks can cause inflammation. Occupations such as carpentry with the continued swinging of a hammer or the overuse of a screwdriver with an incorrect grip. It can also be caused by repetitive use of a computer keyword or the movement of a computer mouse.

Available Treatments and Exercise Options

Exercises For Tennis Elbow

There are a few at-home exercise options you can use to relieve inflammation. The three core muscles to target are:

  • Forearm muscles: by building strength in your forearm muscles with fist-clenching techniques, you can improve your ability to complete daily tasks without putting excess pressure on your muscles.
  • Extensor muscles: these are responsible for bending your wrists, meaning they are used often and can easily be overworked. Build your strength by doing daily wrist extensions with a weight to prevent daily activity from causing overuse.
  • Flexor muscles: this group of muscles with your extensors connect your wrist and elbow movements. Wrist flexion exercises can improve mobility and decrease the risk of inflammation. Another activity to work both your extensors and flexor muscles is twisting motions: using a towel and turning in different directions to engage both sets of muscles at once.

Treatment For Tennis Elbow

Physio Treatments For Tennis Elbow

Physiotherapy may offer relief from pain caused by tennis elbow. A physiotherapist can pull the exact cause of your pain from a short interview of your history and activity levels to create a tailored treatment plan.

At NDPE, all our physiotherapists are experienced in diagnosing and treating tennis elbow. Our team will work with you to understand your pain and symptoms through a thorough tailored assessment. We can work with you to restore movement to your joint and implement normal muscle movement patterns.

Our “hands-on” treatment can include gentle manipulation of your elbow joints, massage, stretches and strengthening exercises. We can also look at using weights to increase the capability and strength of your forearm muscle/tendons to cope with repetitive movements.

In the short term, our team may also suggest using a tennis elbow brace or strapping; to provide immediate pain relief. A sling is another method to allow your inflammation to go down before attempting to improve muscle function and strength.

Next Steps: NDPE Is Here To Help With Tennis Elbow

While you seek treatment options for your tennis elbow, it’s crucial to reduce inflammation wherever possible. Resting, icing and bracing your elbow and forearm region can significantly reduce this inflammation and allow you to seek further treatment options if pain persists. If you are suffering from tennis elbow – don’t suffer in silence. Contact NDPE on 02 9874 8410, and we can discuss what may be the cause of your pain and which treatment options are most suitable for you!




Struggling with tennis elbow?This type of pain can impact daily functionality and is commonly experienced by recreational athletes and occupational workers. Fear not! Corrections and treatments are available to target the root cause of the issue.

To find out more about tennis elbow, read our latest blog here: LINK


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Northern Districts Physiotherapy

Northern Districts Physiotherapy & Sports Clinic was established in 1995 and consists of an energetic team of highly qualified and experienced professionals who take the time to understand ...


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