Wellness Embodied Blog

Tennis Elbow

Lets talk about lateral elbow pain, also known as “tennis elbow”, lateral epicondylitis or by the newer name lateral epicondylalgia.


It is a common overuse injury of the elbow. The cause can be repetitive overuse of the upper limb such as heavy lifting, computer use or some occupations where people have to do the same movement with their wrist or elbow repetitively (such as carpenter, gardener). Besides tennis, other sports can cause the problem as well, such as squash, badminton and baseball. It can be related to changes in biomechanical factors such as new tennis racquet, poor technique, overtraining or previous shoulder injury.

It is most common in people over 40 years old. When there is elbow pain in a younger person, then a physiotherapist can assess to see if there is any joint instability or other problems that can cause the pain.

Pain is usually in the elbow where wrist extensor muscles originate and can radiate down to the forearm. If the pain is more diffuse, then a physiotherapist can evaluate your neck and shoulder to rule out other joint involvement.


What is the most common presentation? 

Pain can be experienced when trying to move the elbow, turning the doorknob or carrying something in the hands. Also, the flexibility and strength of the wrist extensor muscles are decreased. People with this problem may feel that their grip strength is decreased and might have incidents where things fall from their hands. They especially might have problems carrying heavy things in their hands (such as grocery bags) when the elbow is straight.


Symptoms can last from 2 weeks up to 2 years. Physiotherapy can help with lateral elbow pain to decrease the pain and improve the function. It is recommended to avoid painful activities and use of an elbow brace can be helpful as it relieves tension at the muscle origin. Physiotherapists can recommend exercises to improve muscle strength, use manual therapy techniques and taping to decrease symptoms. Also, we will help you to get back to sport or work with sport or occupational specific rehabilitation.


If you or a loved one are suffering with tennis elbow, book an appointment with one of our experienced Cairns physiotherapists today! With 2 centrally located Cairns CBD locations, and Saturday hours, there will be a time to suit! Call 42319777 to book or visit our online booking page here

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