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Tennis Elbow (Lateral Elbow pain)

Lateral elbow pain, often called Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis, affects the forearm muscles which attach to the outer elbow. It is a very common cause of elbow pain. Symptoms can be caused by repetitive or increased use of the forearm muscles, sometimes it arises following an injury and in some cases there is no obvious cause.

Lateral Elbow Pain is characterised by:

  • Pain and tenderness. Usually on the outer elbow where the forearm muscle tendons attach on or around the lateral epicondyle. It is typically made worse when making a strong grip or with wrist movements. Pain can radiate down the forearm and occasionally above the elbow into the upper arm.
  • Stiffness. The elbow may feel a little stiff

Treatment

Evidence has shown that exercise can be very effective at reducing pain and improving use of the arm, the leaflet below will give you further advice on helping you to manage your symptoms and how to begin to exercise. The videos will show you some exercises of increasing difficulty to work through. The British Shoulder and Elbow Society (BESS) have developed an advice and evercise video you may find useful.

Starting Position

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3a

Level 3b

Level 3c

Exercise Regression for Painful Setbacks

Tennis Elbow BESS advice/exercise video

When to seek advice

If you have severe pain affecting your sleep and daily activities, if you have had a serious injury or you have symptoms that have not improved with self-management, you should contact your GP practice. If you have a red, hot swollen joint please ring 111