What Is Tennis Elbow

by Maya

You may be wondering what is tennis elbow, especially if you have noticed elbow pain in one of your arms.

Symtoms of Tennis Elbow

and how to deal with them

There will likely be inflammation and soreness on the outside of your upper arm, close to the elbow.


This is caused by small tears in your tendon. These tears happen when you use that part of your muscle repeatedly. It is called tennis elbow because tennis players frequently suffer from this injury. In addition to elbow pain, symptoms include a weaker ability to grasp a racquet or other item in your hand, as well as pain radiating out from your elbow, and moving to the back of your hand or forearm, especially when you try to twist that arm.


If you notice that you have developed tennis elbow, rest your arm for some time so that your pain can heal. Apply ice two or three times per day, and take an anti-inflammatory pain reliever, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Once you have rested enough and you know you will want to play tennis again, or return to your regular activities without any pain, consider changes you can make to your game or technique that will put less strain on your elbow and arm. Talk to instructors, coaches, and occupational therapists about exercises you can do. There are exercises for tennis elbow that have proven to be effective in managing your pain and preventing further harm to the elbow and arm.

Tennis Elbow Exercises that Can Help You Deal With the Pain

Start your tennis elbow exercises with a lot of stretching. Work your wrists into a rotation, and keep your elbow extended and your arm straight. Stretch slowly and gently several times a day, even if you are not playing tennis or performing any other exercises. The stretching will keep your muscles and tendons healthy, increase your range of motion, and prevent further injuries from occurring. Work on flexing your forearms and wrists, and stretching that elbow. Strengthen your arms by doing resistance exercises. This can be achieved simply by placing your palms against a wall or other flat surface and leaning your body weight onto your hands, keeping your arms and elbows straight.


Other tennis elbow exercises that are helpful for managing your injury include strengthening your flexors and extensors. Hold a light weight in your hands, with your palms facing down towards the floor. Flex your wrists upwards and hold onto the weight for two or three seconds before you release it. Do the same thing with your palm up, except curl the wrists in towards your body and hold that for a few seconds before you release. Repeat these exercises as often as you can, and try to increase the number of repetitions you can do, as well as the amount of weight you can hold.


Work the deviator muscles in the wrists by holding onto weights and moving your wrists from side to side. The thumb should be pointing up. Turn the wrists in and out as far as possible, without causing your wrists any further pain. These exercises will reduce the pain in your elbow and arm, cutting down on the harm that tennis elbow can cause. Remember to massage the area that hurts as well. Simply apply pressure with two of your fingers onto the areas where you feel most pain. Ice the elbow before and after you play tennis.

Tennis Elbow Can Be Cured

You will not need to ask what is tennis elbow once you experience it. The discomfort is hard to forget. Doing these tennis elbow exercises will help you manage the pain, reduce the inflammation and elbow pain that often occurs, and continue playing tennis and other racquet sports.

Updated: 01/24/2012, Maya
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