Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

By  , Expert Content
Sep 21, 2012

"Tennis elbow" is a common medical condition which affects the elbow. It is caused because of overuse of arm, forearm, and hand muscles that causes injury and elbow pain. Although it is called tennis elbow it is not to be considered as an injury that affects only the sportspersons. It affects about 1 per cent to 3 per cent of the general population and about 50 per cent of tennis players during their careers. [Read: What is Tennis Elbow]


Symptoms of tennis elbow

Pain: This is the commonly reported symptom of tennis elbow. The pain and tenderness is present on the area around the outside of the elbow. In some people the pain may travel down the forearm towards the wrist. The pain increases in intensity on use of arm and elbow, particularlyhen the person has to twist the arm, wrist or elbow.Repetitive movements of the wrist such as wrist extension and repeated gripping can aggravate pain.

Pain in tennis elbow can vary from mild to severe. In cases with severe pain, the pain may be present even when the person isn’t performing any physical activity.

Some movements that can cause pain include:

  • lifting any object or bending the arm.
  • doing fine movements with hand and wrist such as writing, typing, using a screw driver or trying to grip small objects. So the person may find it difficult to hold small items, such as a pen, brush.
  • any movement that needs twisting of forearm such as turning a door handle or opening a jar.
  • trying to fully extend the forearm.


Besides pain, other symptoms that a person with tennis elbow may experience include weakness of elbow and stiffness of arm that progressively increases as the injury to the tendon increases. The person may feel weak at the elbow and expeience pain even while doing simple activities such as opening a door handle, using a screw driver, shaking hands with someone. With progressive injury and weakness of elbow, some people may experience pain or stiffness in other parts of the affected arm, shoulder and neck as well. [Read: Diagnosis of Tennis Elbow]


Pain in tennis elbow can last for weeks to months (as the tendons heal slowly). In people with severe injury the pain can persist for more than a year. However, as it is a self limiting condition, in most cases pain improves with or without treatment over a period of time.


Read more on Tennis Elbow Lateral Epicondylitis



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