Tennis Elbow (cont.)

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What exercises are recommended for tennis elbow?

Ideally, exercises and stretches for tennis elbow are taught by an experienced physical therapist as part of a rehabilitation program. After teaching proper techniques, exercises may be continued at home.

What activities should be avoided with tennis elbow?

Activities that cause pain at the elbow should be avoided with tennis elbow. Generally movements involving wrist extension (movement of the hand upward with the elbow extended and palm downward) use the forearm tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle and aggravate the pain of tennis elbow. Repetitive activities that stress the elbow should certainly be avoided. Heavy lifting should be avoided. Many daily activities such as gardening and carrying grocery bags also aggravate the pain of tennis elbow. It can help to favor the unaffected upper extremity during these activities.

What is the prognosis of tennis elbow?

Left untreated, the symptoms of tennis elbow persist between six months and two years. Because improper tennis stroke mechanics contribute to tennis elbow, tennis elbow is likely to recur in a tennis player who does not correct improper technique.

Can tennis elbow be prevented?

Avoiding repetitive movements and injuries to the forearm tendons caused by heavy lifting can prevent tennis elbow. The use of proper tennis techniques may also prevent tennis elbow.

What research is being done on tennis elbow?

Many treatments are being investigated in tennis elbow including the following:

  • Platelet-rich plasma injections (involves injecting a patient's own plasma into the affected area after special preparation)
  • Autologous blood injections (injecting a sample of the patient's own blood, often using ultrasound guidance, into the area of chronic tendon injury)
  • Acupuncture
  • Botulinum (Botox) injection
  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (uses acoustic waves for treatment)
  • Prolotherapy (uses injections in the affected area to promote healing)


Klippel, J.H., et al. Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases. 12th ed. Atlanta, Ga: Arthritis Foundation, 2001.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/24/2013

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