Chiropractic & Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy For Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

Your elbow hurts, you’ve been told to have tennis elbow but have never played tennis. You are referred for physiotherapy by your GP, but first you want to have a good understanding of the symptoms and problem to make sure you get the best treatment.

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is a common condition and is treatable with physiotherapy. However, not all tennis elbows are the same, and they have to be assessed and treated differently in order to reach optimal result.

Tennis Elbow is the most common overuse syndrome on the lateral part of the elbow. It is a tendon injury involving the common extensor muscle of the forearm. These muscles originate from the lateral epicondyle of the distal humerus. Overuse of these muscles and tendons of the forearm and elbow together with repetitive contraction or manual tasks can put too much strain on the elbow tendons. This injury is often work-related, any activity involving wrist extension, pronation or supination during manual labour, housework and hobbies are considered as important causal factors.

Clinical Presentation

Tennis elbow may cause the most pain when you:

  • Lift something
  • Turn a door knob
  • Make a fist
  • Turn a bottle cap

Factors that cause tennis elbow

  1. Repetitive Motions

People who have jobs or hobbies that involve repeated movements of the hand,      wrist or elbow are at higher risk for developing tennis elbow. When you increase this activity faster than your arm can adapt, tennis elbow will begin.

  1. Ergonomics

When it comes to tennis elbow, the following factors should be looked into and needs alteration if necessary:


Seating Posture – Is the keyboard and mouse height ideal to your elbow position? Do the forearm has proper support during typing and does the chair provides good support to the back?

Vibration – do any of the tasks that you need to perform expose your arm to vibration? This can be very stressful on the joints and supporting muscles so these tasks must be performed well, with high quality tools and regularly planned breaks from the task.

There are many ways to treat tennis elbow and following a thorough assessment of your elbow, arm and neck, the physiotherapist will discuss the best strategy for you to use based on your symptoms and your lifestyle. Physiotherapy treatment can include gentle mobilisation of your neck and elbow joints, electrotherapy, elbow kinesio taping, muscle stretches, neural mobilisations, massage and strengthening.

Here in Healthworks, our physiotherapist will do a thorough assessment and design a comprehensive treatment plan for your condition. If there are any queries regarding this article, feel free to contact us at 018-9828539 or drop us an email at