Answering Important Common Questions About Tennis Elbow

Exploring the Most Important Questions of Tennis Elbow Pain

How to make an informed decision about your care provider.


All blogs reviewed by Physicians for accuracy.

Tennis elbow is a common condition that affects many individuals, not just tennis players. In this article, we will provide you with a quick overview of what tennis elbow is, discuss common causes, explore its symptoms, and provide guidance on what to do if you suspect you have tennis elbow. Let’s dive in!

A Quick Overview On Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow, medically known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the bony prominence on the outside of the elbow. Imagine these tendons as a group of fibers that resemble tightly-wound guitar strings. When overused or strained, these “strings” can become damaged, resulting in the characteristic pain associated with tennis elbow. Just like a strained guitar string, they require proper care and treatment to heal– more on that later in this article.

How Does Someone Get Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow can occur due to repetitive activities that strain the forearm muscles and tendons. Contrary to its name, you definitely don’t have to be a tennis player to develop this condition. Engaging in activities such as painting, typing, gardening, or even lifting heavy objects can lead to the development of tennis elbow. The repetitive motion and gripping involved in these activities can strain the tendons, causing them to become inflamed and painful.

Do I Have Tennis Elbow?

Identifying tennis elbow involves recognizing its distinctive symptoms. The most common symptom is pain on the outside of the elbow that may radiate down the forearm. This pain often worsens when performing gripping or twisting motions. Additionally, you may experience weakness in your grip and difficulty in fully extending your arm. If you are experiencing these symptoms and suspect tennis elbow, it’s important to consult with an expert orthopedic doctor specializing in upper extremity area.

I Might Have Tennis Elbow! What Do I Do? How Is It Treated?

If you suspect you have tennis elbow, early intervention is crucial for successful treatment. Start by resting the affected arm and avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain. If you need immediate relief, applying ice packs and using approved over-the-counter pain relievers may help temporarily reduce discomfort. However, it’s absolutely essential to book an appointment with an orthopedic doctor to confirm the diagnosis and receive appropriate treatment. At Boston Orthopaedic and Spine, we typically recommend a combination of physical therapy, stretching exercises, braces, or in some cases, corticosteroid injections to alleviate pain and promote healing.

In some more serious cases, surgery may be advised as a treatment option for tennis elbow if conservative measures have not provided adequate relief. 

It’s important to note that surgery is typically considered a last resort and is reserved for severe or chronic cases that have not responded to non-surgical treatments.

The specific surgical procedure performed for tennis elbow is known as lateral epicondylitis release or debridement. During this procedure, the surgeon removes damaged tendon tissue and may repair or release the affected tendon to alleviate tension and promote healing. The surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you can return home on the same day.

We oversee your progress from the very beginning, recognizing each patient is unique. We also develop a full treatment plan so you know exactly what is happening and why during your treatment. 

Tennis elbow can significantly impact your daily activities, but with the right approach and team or experts, it can be effectively managed and treated. By understanding the causes, recognizing the symptoms, and seeking early medical attention from an upper extremity specialist, you can take the necessary steps to recover and regain your mobility.

If you suspect you have tennis elbow or any other orthopedic condition, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Boston Orthopaedic and Spine. Our dedicated team is here to provide personalized care and guide you on your path to recovery.

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