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Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)

frozen shoulder treatment

Tennis elbow (or lateral epicondylitis is) a painful problem of the outside of the elbow.


It is often caused by strenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm, near the elbow joint. The ones you use to grip with your hand.

Key factors

  • pain on the outside of your upper forearm, just below the bend of your elbow
  • when lifting or bending your arm
  • when gripping small objects, such as a pen
  • when twisting your forearm, such as turning a door handle or opening a jar

You may also find it difficult to fully extend your forearm.


What causes tennis elbow?

They muscles that move your elbow, wrist and fingers attache at the outside of the elbow.

Tennis elbow is usually caused by overusing these muscles. If the muscles and tendons are strained, tiny tears and inflammation can develop near the bony lump (the lateral epicondyle) on the outside of your elbow.

Tennis elbow may come on after playing tennis. However, it is often caused by other activities that place repeated stress on the elbow joint, such as decorating, typing or playing the violin.

Pain that occurs on the inner side of the elbow is often known as golfer's elbow.


by John Chaffey - Osteopath last review Jan 2014