Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis): Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Tennis Elbow Symptoms

Tennis Elbow Symptoms
Tennis Elbow Symptoms

Tennis elbow results from repetitive use of the arm, hand, and fingers. The condition is also referred to as lateral epicondylitis. Symptoms of tennis elbow include pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow.

Pain in elbow

Pain in the elbow can be a common complaint, especially for those that participate in sports. Tennis elbow is caused by overuse of the muscles and tendons in the forearm. This condition is characterized by pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow. The pain may worsen when gripping or twisting objects. The best way to prevent tennis elbow is to avoid overusing the muscles and tendons around the elbow.

If you do develop tennis elbow, there are a few things that you can do to help relieve the pain and tenderness. One is to apply ice packs to the area for 15-20 minutes several times a day. You can also take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, to help reduce inflammation and pain. Finally, you can see a physical therapist who can give you exercises to help stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons around the elbow.

Swelling in elbow

Swelling in the elbow is a common complaint for those suffering from tennis elbow. The condition is secondary to overuse of the muscles and tendons in the forearm, leading to inflammation and pain. Swelling in the elbow can make it difficult to move your arm and grip objects. There are several ways to treat swelling in the elbow, including rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If the swelling does not improve with conservative treatment, surgery may be necessary.

Pain in forearm

Tennis elbow results from tendinitis of the medial or lateral epicondyle of the humerus. This condition is seen more often in men than women and is typically seen in individuals aged 30 to 50 years. The main symptom is pain on the outside of the arm just below the bend of the elbow. The pain may radiate down the forearm. Activities that involve repetitive use of the forearm muscles, such as tennis or golf, can cause this radiation of the pain to the forearms. Treatment includes rest, icing the area, compression, and elevation of the limb (RICE), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy. Surgery is rarely needed.

Pain in hand

One of the most prevalent overuse injuries in athletes is tennis elbow. The condition is a type of tendinitis that affects the muscles and tendons that attach your forearm muscles to your elbow. Pain and mild to moderate tenderness are usually felt on the outside of your elbow, but can also radiate down your arm into your hand.

If you experience pain or tenderness on the outside of your elbow (that radiates down to the forearm and hand), stop the activity causing it and rest your arm. Icing the affected area can help reduce swelling and pain.

Difficulty in gripping

Tennis elbow affects the muscles and tendons in the elbow. It can cause pain, stiffness and difficulty gripping objects. The pain may be worse when you use your arm to grip something or when you stretch your arm out. The condition causes muscle weakness of the forearms that leads to difficulty in gripping objects or makes it painful.

Difficulty in twisting arm

One of the main complaints of people with tennis elbow is difficulty in twisting their arm. This can make activities such as turning a door handle or opening a jar difficult. Rest and physical therapy is recommended to help strengthen the muscles and tendons around the elbow – that will further help in easing twisted movements of the arm. Surgery may be needed if other treatments fail to provide relief.

Numbness in hands

Tennis elbow is a condition that results in pain and inflammation around the outside of the elbow. The pain may radiate to the upper arm, forearm, and hand. One common symptom of tennis elbow is numbness in the hands. This numbness can be caused by compression of the nerves that travel through the area, or by inflammation of the tendons that attach to the nerves. The numbness may be intermittent or constant, and it may worsen with activity or at night.

Tingling in hands

Most people who play tennis experience occasional pain in their elbow, but for some it becomes a chronic condition. The overuse of the muscles and tendons in the forearm during sports activities can put pressure on the muscles and tendons passing through the elbow. These muscles and tendons attach to the bony lump on the outside of the elbow (the lateral epicondyle). When they are overused, tiny tears can develop in the tissue that can lead to irritation of the nerves and tingling sensations in the hands.

Tingling occurs when the inflamed tissue presses on one or more of the nerves that run along the side of your arm. The tingling may be accompanied by numbness, burning, or aching sensations.


You may also experience weakness in your arm and hand. This usually develops after you lose control of one or more nerves of your forehands due to injury to swelling associated with tennis elbow. This cause weakness of the forearm and hand muscles. The extensor carpi radials brevis muscle and the extensor digit rum communes muscle are the most commonly affected muscles. The best way to treat this weakness is to rest your arm and apply ice to the swollen area. You can also take over-the-counter pain medication to help relieve your symptoms. In some cases, you may need physical therapy and electrical stimulation to strengthen the muscles.

Reduced range of motion

One of the characteristic symptoms of tennis elbow is reduced range of motion in the arm and hand. This can make it difficult to do things like lift your arm up, grip objects, or extend your fingers. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Depending on the severity of your condition, treatment may include rest, ice packs, physical therapy, or bracing/splinting.