What Is Tennis Elbow?

Namrata. January 31, 2023
Can you get Tennis Elbow if you don’t play tennis?

Have you ever experienced pain in your elbow? Difficulty lifting shopping bags? Finding it painful to drink your cup of tea/coffee in the morning? If that’s something you are going through it could be tennis elbow. Many people ask me the question ‘how can I have tennis elbow when I’ve never played tennis?’ You don’t have to have played tennis to get tennis elbow. It’s actually more common than you think and there are plenty of things that you can do to prevent it and manage it It's not necessary to have played Tennis to get tennis elbow. Let's talk about what is tennis elbow, how common it is and what could be done to prevent/manage it.

What is Tennis elbow?

As the name suggests it’s a condition that causes pain in your elbow and was initially commonly seen in people who played racket sports. However, it is now really common in people aged 30-50 from all walks of life.

When you get pain in the outside part of your elbow while using the elbow or wrist, then you have tennis elbow. It comes on through a repeated use of the elbow or wrist and also through overuse of the arm. The tendons which attach to the outside of the elbow become inflamed, making it harder to grip objects, pens, open jars/ bottles etc.

It is commonly seen in people who

  • 1. frequently use a mouse or do plumbing
  • 2. painters
  • 3. chefs involved in cutting, especially meat
  • 4. tennis players
How to prevent Tennis elbow?
  • 1. Stop activities that cause pain or find other ways of performing the same activity.
  • 2. Strengthen the muscles in your forearm and wrist to better support you with your tasks.
  • 3. Get expert advice from your Physiotherapist about whether you are able to play any racket sports.
  • 4. Warm ups and cool downs before and after your play in racket ball games.
  • How can I manage my pain?

    Tennis elbow could be managed at home with these few tips:

    • 1. Icing use frozen peas or an ice pack wrapped in a towel for 10-12 mins around the lateral side of your elbow. You could do this a few times a day.
    • 2. Stretching and strengthening exercises would help to maintain flexibility and strength in the muscles of your forearm and wrist.
    • 3. Changing your activity which causes pain. You could also try and rest between your activity to help with pain.
    • 4. Managing the weight, you might need to carry for work or any household items. In the case of carrying heavy shopping bags, you could divide the load in a few bags.

    A splint could be advised by your Physiotherapist which will help you continue your usual activities and manage the pain.

    If this advice hasn’t helped you could also opt for a Steroid Injection which would be able to help to relieve the pain and help you in your activities. To know more about Steroid Injections in any of our Physiotherapy Clinics in Sittingbourne, Maidstone or Bexley, please check the steroid injection blog to download the information pack from our website.

    If all of the above management strategies haven’t worked then it may be time to consider surgery.

    If all of this advice hasn’t helped and you need more help, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01795 60 60 66 and we will do our very best to support and advise you.

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