CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

Health: How to take care of tennis elbow

PUBLISHED: 10:29 02 August 2016 | UPDATED: 13:22 06 September 2016

Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis can affect anyone doing repetitive lifting or gripping (Photo: Marcavarro)

Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis can affect anyone doing repetitive lifting or gripping (Photo: Marcavarro)


Dr Ade Adejuwon, consultant in sports and exercise medicine at Spire Harpenden Hospital, on taking care of the elbow when playing racquet sports

Wimbledon may have finished for another year, but many of us have been inspired to dust off our tennis racquets and head to the courts with visions of being Andy Murray. Tennis is excellent for exercising the whole body but it can cause a painful elbow and injuries to the shoulder and knees due to the forces exerted.

Lateral elbow tendinopathy, or tennis elbow, is the most common cause of pain on the outside of the elbow. Although it can occur in up to 50 per cent of recreational tennis players, it can affect anyone who performs activities requiring repetitive lifting or gripping – even working out in the gym can cause it.

The pain typically comes on gradually – although occasionally it may relate to a specific injury – and can radiate down the forearm causing a weakness of grip that can make it difficult to hold a racquet, pick things up or if bad enough, even to give a handshake.

It’s important to note that there are other causes of lateral elbow pain such as elbow osteoarthritis, trapped nerves and wear and tear in the neck, so it is crucial the correct diagnosis is made.

Presently there is no one treatment for tennis elbow. Self-management through activity modification, applying topical anti-inflammatory and using a wrist splint or forearm strap may be enough to control symptoms. Physical therapy is the main form of treatment, but if unresponsive, shockwave treatment or platelet-rich-plasma injections have been shown to be effective. A small group of patients may need surgery if all else fails.

One way to avoid developing tennis elbow among tennis players is to make sure the right racquet is used, taking into consideration its weight and hand grip.

Spire Harpenden offers expert consultation, a state-of-the-art radiology department and physiotherapy (including hydrotherapy).

See for full details.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Most Read

Latest from the Hertfordshire