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Written by our Human Movement Specialists

What is tennis elbow?

Repetitive motions of the wrist and arm can cause a painful condition called lateral epicondylitis, otherwise known as tennis elbow. It is a repetitive strain injury affecting the tendons of the forearm muscles which attach to the bony bump on the outside of your elbow. Although you may think this condition primarily happens to tennis players, it can actually affect anyone who repeatedly uses their wrist and elbow like plumbers, painters, cashiers, office workers and carpenters.

A man playing tennis

Symptoms of tennis elbow

The most common symptom of tennis elbow is pain and tenderness on the outer part of the elbow. This pain may worsen when gripping or lifting objects, or when twisting the forearm. Other symptoms may include stiffness in the elbow, weakness in the forearm, and difficulty performing everyday tasks such as opening jars or turning doorknobs. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention to properly diagnose and treat the condition. This pain may not only hurt around the elbow but can spread into your forearm and wrist, making picking up your coffee mug challenging.

A man exercising with resistance tubes wearing a tennis elbow brace

Treating tennis elbow

  1. Elbow bands or straps are designed to offload the tendon to allow the inflammation and irritation to subside (once applied wearer's often feel almost immediate pain relief and return of grip strength)

  2. Strengthening the muscle of the forearms to condition them for activity, absorb shock and prevent re-injury

  3. Cold packs to help reduce inflammation

  4. P3 cream is an all natural anti-inflammatory and pain relief topical cream

Prevention tips to avoid tennis elbow in the future

While tennis elbow can be a painful and frustrating injury, there are steps you can take to prevent it from happening in the future. One of the most important things you can do is to use proper technique when performing repetitive motions that involve your arms and wrists, such as typing or using a mouse. It is also important to take frequent breaks and stretch your arms and wrists throughout the day. If you do participate in sports that involve repetitive arm motions, make sure to warm up properly and gradually increase the intensity of your activity after your injury.


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