Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow is a painful condition that occurs when tendons in your elbow are overworked, usually by repetitive motions of the wrist and arm.

Despite its name, most cases of tennis elbow occur in people who don't play tennis. People whose jobs feature the types of motions that can lead to tennis elbow include plumbers, painters, carpenters and butchers.

The pain of tennis elbow occurs primarily where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to a bony bump on the outside of your elbow. Pain can also spread into your forearm and wrist.

Rest and over-the-counter pain relievers often help relieve tennis elbow. If conservative treatments don't help or if symptoms are disabling, your doctor might suggest surgery.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications

The pain associated with tennis elbow may radiate from the outside of your elbow into your forearm and wrist. Pain and weakness may make it difficult to:

  • Shake hands
  • Turn a doorknob
  • Hold a coffee cup

When to see a doctor

Talk to your doctor if self-care steps such as rest, ice and use of over-the-counter pain relievers don't ease your elbow pain and tenderness.

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