Ultimate NEET-PG Exam Study Material

Proven Effective Content with 96% Strike Rate

Tennis Elbow: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment

Sep 19, 2023

Tennis Elbow: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment

Tennis elbow, sometimes referred to as lateral epicondylitis, is an injury that can happen when the muscles and tendons in the elbow are overused. Repeated wrist and arm motions are frequently associated with tennis elbow.

Tennis elbow, despite its name, seldom affects tennis players. Tennis elbow can develop in certain persons due to repetitive movements in the workplace. Some examples of these are butchers, carpenters, painters, and plumbers. Tennis elbow, though, frequently lacks a known cause.

The bony bump on the outside of the elbow, where the forearm muscles' tough, cord-like tissues attach, is where tennis elbow pain is most commonly felt. Tendons are the names of the structures. Forearm and wrist pain may radiate.

Tennis elbow is frequently relieved with rest, painkillers, and physical treatment. A procedure, such as a shot or surgery, may be used for those for whom these treatments are ineffective or who have symptoms that interfere with everyday activities.

Causes Of Tennis Elbow

Overuse and muscle tension are two factors that frequently contribute to tennis elbow. But it's unclear what caused it. The symptoms can sometimes be brought on by repeatedly tensing the forearm muscles that are used to lift and straighten the hand and wrist. The tendon that connects the forearm muscles to the bony protrusion on the outside of the elbow may break down as a result of this.

Tennis elbow symptoms may result from the following activities:

  • Playing racket sports with improper form, particularly when using the backhand.
  • Using equipment for plumbing.
  • Painting.
  • Fitting screws into place.
  • Especially when cooking meat, and chopping food into smaller pieces.
  • Making frequent use of a computer mouse.
  • Tennis elbow is less frequently brought on by a disease or condition that affects the body's connective structures. Frequently, there is no established cause.

Symptoms Of Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow can cause discomfort that radiates from the outside of the elbow into the forearm and wrist. A person may find it difficult to:

  • Grab something or shake hands.
  • Rotate the doorknob.
  • Possess a coffee cup.

NEET PG Elite Plan

Risk Factors of Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow risk factors include the following:

  • Age. All ages are impacted by tennis elbow. However, people between the ages of 30 and 60 are the ones who experience it the most frequently.
  • Work. Tennis elbow is more prone to occur in those whose jobs require repetitive wrist and arm motions. These include cooks, butchers, painters, carpenters, and plumbers.
  • Certain sports. Tennis elbow risk is higher when participating in racket sports. The risk is further increased by employing subpar equipment or bad form. A further danger factor is playing for more than two hours every day.
  • Smoking, being overweight, and taking certain medications are other risk factors.

Diagnosis Of Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is frequently diagnosed with just a medical history and physical exam. A medical professional may ask you to move your elbow, wrist, and fingers in different directions or press on the injured area during the physical examination.

If a healthcare professional believes anything else may be the cause of the symptoms, X-rays, sonograms, or other imaging procedures may be required.

Treatment Of Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow frequently gets better by itself. However, physical therapy might be the next option if painkillers and other self-care techniques are ineffective. Tennis elbow that doesn't heal with previous treatments may benefit from surgery or an injection.


An expert may examine your tennis play, work performance, or equipment if your symptoms are linked to playing tennis or doing professional activities. To decrease stress on damaged tissue, the optimal methods must be found.

Exercises to build up the muscles and tendons of the forearm can be taught by a physical, occupational, or hand therapist. A brace or band around the forearm could ease pressure on the damaged tissue.

Surgeries or other procedures

Shots. Tennis elbow is treated by administering various injections to the damaged tendon. Platelet-rich plasma and corticosteroids are some of them. Less often used options include prolotherapy and botulinum toxin A (Botox), which is an irritating solution made of either sugar water or salt water.

Additionally beneficial is dry needling, which involves carefully piercing the injured tendon numerous times with a needle.

  • Needle fenestration. In this technique, an ultrasonic beam is used to repeatedly insert a needle into a numb tendon. The tendon begins to recover in a new way as a result.
  • TENEX treatment, also known as ultrasonic tenotomy. This method, which is similar to needle fenestration, employs ultrasound to guide a specific needle through the skin and into the injured area of the tendon. The injured tissue turns to liquid when ultrasonic energy rapidly vibrates the needle. Afterward, it can be sucked out.
  • Extracorporeal Shock wave therapy. To relieve pain and aid in the healing of the wounded tissue, shock waves are applied during this treatment. The shock waves are delivered by an instrument placed on the skin.
  • Surgery. Surgery to remove damaged tissue may be a possibility if symptoms don't go away after 6 to 12 months of various therapies. The surgical procedure could be open, requiring a significant incision. 

Alternatively, arthroscopic surgery, which uses multiple tiny holes, is an option. Exercises to regain strength and use of the elbow are essential to recovery, regardless of the course of treatment.

Rapid Revision 5.0
Auther Details

PrepLadder Medical

Get access to all the essential resources required to ace your medical exam Preparation. Stay updated with the latest news and developments in the medical exam, improve your Medical Exam preparation, and turn your dreams into a reality!