With Wimbledon nearly upon us, the urge to get out onto the courts and try to emulate today’s stars can sometimes be very tempting. Although tennis is a great way of keeping fit and active, there is one injury that we should be aware of; Tennis Elbow! Or as it is also known, Lateral Epicondylitis.

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is an inflammation of the outer forearm and elbow where the tendons attach to the bone. These injuries are usually caused by repetitive movements and prolonged gripping in activities such as tennis. They can also be caused by hammering, weight lifting, driving screws, playing musical instruments and digging. In racquet sports, the most common cause is due to a poor backhand technique.

What are the symptoms?

Typical symptoms of tennis elbow include aching, throbbing or tenderness on the outer elbow. This can be made worse by seemingly innocuous movements such as typing, carrying bags, chopping food and even turning door knobs.

What should I do?

There are a number of things you can do to prevent tennis elbow from occurring or, conversely, to alleviate symptoms.

  • Try using a lighter racquet.
  • Increase the grip size on your tennis racquet to avoid tight grip.
  • Reduce string tension on your racquet.
  • Reduce your activity levels by 50%.
  • Wear a compressive elbow strap.
  • Get some tennis lessons to improve your backhand.
  • Ice the outer elbow using a bag of frozen peas or an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel. Do this for 10 minutes every hour.

If, after following this advice, you still feel discomfort, it may be worth contacting the clinic for an assessment. We will be able to evaluate the extent of the injury and help you to start a rehabilitation programme.


If you are suffering from Tennis Elbow and would like to make an appointment, call us on 020 8789 3881. Our team of osteopaths and physiotherapists will be happy to help you start your journey to recovery.

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