Tennis Elbow

By | June 10, 2022

If the arm muscles are overloaded, not only tennis players and golfers can contract what is known as tennis elbow (also known as golfer ‘s elbow). Craftsmen and professionals who work a lot on the computer also risk the painful tennis elbow.

What is tennis elbow?

The terms tennis elbow and golfer ‘s elbow, also known as epicondylitis, refer to inflammation of the tendons and muscles in the elbow area. For what does hc stand for, please visit

Tennis elbow is an irritation of the outer muscles of the hand and fingers, i.e. the extensor. Golfer’s elbow, on the other hand, refers to irritation of the inner muscles of the hand and fingers, the flexors.

Technically, the two symptoms are referred to as epicondylitis humeri radialis and epicondylitis humeri ulnaris. The syndromes got their popular names tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow because of their frequent occurrence among tennis players and golfers.


The main causes of tennis elbow are the overloading of the tendons, which are connected to the bones in the elbow area. It is not only the chronic overstimulation that causes tennis elbow, but also an acute additional strain can lead to the painful inflammation of the tendon sections.

In athletes in sports such as tennis, golf or table tennis, but also in volleyball players and rowers, the causes of tennis elbow lie in the constant repetition of monotonous movements. For the majority of those affected, tennis elbow can be traced back to a job that involves one-sided and repetitive movements.

This includes, for example, the constant use of the computer mouse. The repetitive movements put excessive strain on the corresponding muscles and tendons and lead to inflammation in the affected tissue. This leads to severe pain for tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

Contrary to what the name might suggest, symptoms are not unique to tennis players. All groups of people who perform monotonous movements with their arms are at risk. All those affected have one thing in common: the pain. It increases with a load. Doctors relate tennis elbow to complaints on the lateral epicondyle.

There is pain in the area of ​​the bony prominences of the elbow. It doesn’t have to be a burden. Signs are also present at rest. Third parties only have to touch the arm lightly, and pressure pain occurs . Even just bending and stretching your arm can be painful. Some patients report tingling in their hands.

The arms are load carriers in everyday life. With tennis elbow, they can no longer perform this function after a while. There is a loss of power. Lifting, reaching and carrying can become a painful experience. Even shaking hands is difficult.

If tennis elbow is not treated professionally, patients often assume a protective posture. This initially leads to a reduction in the signs. As a consequence, however, this promotes tension in other parts of the body. The result is a far-reaching misalignment. After a while, the problems with tennis elbow come back.


Tennis elbow usually has a positive outcome. First of all, the affected person feels severe pain, especially during rotary movements and heavy strain on the hand and arm, which usually radiates from the elbow towards the hand.

If these tennis elbow symptoms remain unnoticed, the pain will worsen in the long term. Even light activities, such as holding small objects or carrying light bags, can then be extremely painful for those affected.

In addition, the strength in the arm and hand deteriorates due to tennis elbow, so that a firm grip becomes increasingly impossible. Without long-term treatment, tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow pain become constant companions for those affected and lead to severe restrictions in everyday life. Only appropriate therapy can reduce the inflammation and heal tennis elbow.


Tennis elbow is common in people who put a lot of strain on one or both arms for a long time. The ligaments and tendons in the elbow wear out, so that the first pain occurs immediately after the strain. If the corresponding arm continues to be heavily loaded, the pain will increase and various complications are possible.

Pain can also occur at rest and abscess formation can occur. If this clinical picture is not treated professionally, further complications can be expected. If the pus fluid enters the bloodstream, there is even a risk of blood poisoning. At the same time, there is a strong feeling of malaise, as well as an elevated temperature. Treatment by an appropriate doctor is advisable, otherwise even consequential damage may remain.

However, if treatment is initiated at the first pain in the arm, then the above-mentioned complications can be combated at an early stage or even avoided. The following therefore applies: If you have the first signs of tennis elbow, you should seek medical and drug treatment at an early stage. In this way, possible complications can be averted at an early stage, so that a much more pleasant course can be expected.

When should you go to the doctor?

People who are exposed to monotonous movements in everyday life should carry out balancing movements at regular intervals. If there are slight symptoms and the first irregularities in the muscles, early self-help measures can be enough to alleviate the symptoms. A doctor is not always needed in these cases. If you are free of symptoms after a restful night’s sleep or sufficient exercise and sporting activities, no medical care is necessary.

A doctor is needed if the person concerned cannot alleviate the symptoms with their own resources. Persistent or increasing pain and impairment of mobility should be presented to a doctor. Irrespective of whether the monotonous movements are carried out through professional or sporting activities, it is necessary to clarify the symptoms. It must be checked whether there are other faults or whether it is an overload. The person concerned needs medical help and should do physiotherapy exercises.

Tension, pain and sensitivity disorders should be presented to a doctor. In the case of circulatory disorders, a decrease in physical performance and the feeling of inner weakness, the person concerned needs help. If everyday activities such as lifting, carrying or holding objects can no longer be carried out as usual, a doctor’s visit is necessary.

Treatment & Therapy

Tennis elbow and golfer ‘s elbow can be treated using different methods. On the one hand, there are various options for treating tennis elbow non-surgically. In the case of acute pain, short-term measures such as cooling and warming as well as massages of the wrist and arm muscles help.

Anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving drugs can also be a temporary solution. These treatment attempts can be supported by immobilising the arm with the help of a special splint. In the long term, however, permanent measures should be taken against tennis elbow. This includes, for example, physiotherapy. This includes certain stretching and strengthening exercises for the muscles. Wearing a bandage during strenuous activity can also lead to the tennis elbow symptoms easing.

If these various methods do not improve, surgery may be considered. There are different approaches to tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow surgery. On the one hand, the doctor can separate the inflamed tendon from the bone so that it can grow back in another place. This leads to an extension and thus to a relief of the muscle strand. On the other hand, the doctor can perform a denervation operation in which the nerve cords are severed. After the operation, tennis elbow should be treated with physiotherapy.


Various measures are recommended to prevent painful tennis elbow and golfer ’s elbow. On the one hand, monotonous movements should be avoided. On the other hand, athletes should pay attention to the right technique during training and react to mild symptoms as quickly as possible. For non-athletes, an ergonomically designed workplace and regular stretching exercises can relieve the strain on tendons and muscles and prevent tennis elbow.


Keep your arm still, don’t strain it and cool it – this is how effective aftercare for tennis elbow can be done. In addition, poultices with chamomile blossoms and quark or buttermilk also help. Rubs with arnica, sage, rosemary and St. John’s wort oil can also help. After an operation on tennis elbow, doctors recommend immobilization for around eight to fourteen days to prevent pain.

Immobilization in an upper arm cast after an operation is also often practiced. However, some patients do not move their joints that are not immobilized enough – such as fingers, thumbs or shoulders – in the plaster cast. This is wrong – movement of all joints that are not immobilized is required to optimally promote the healing process. Other doctors do not use a cast immobilization at all.

They only recommend relieving the operated arm for a period of fourteen days. After an operation, it is important to limit physical activity in the days that follow, which does not mean having to lie in bed. Walking even seems very important – if only to prevent thrombosis. On the other hand, sporting activities of any kind should be avoided.

The operated hand should under no circumstances be held down for a longer period of time. Even with an upper arm cast, it’s important to move your fingers in the bandage – this helps to avoid swelling. In the event of unnaturally severe pain, a feeling of tightness in the bandage or bleeding in the bandage, the doctor should be informed immediately.

You can do that yourself

The cause of tennis elbow can be found in an incorrect strain on the human skeletal and muscular system in the forearm. Often this area is hardly moved for a long time and then exposed to excessive demands through sporting activities or other intensive physical work.

In everyday life, care should be taken to ensure that the difference between a hardly used forearm and a heavy load is minimized. Since the difference in stress requirements triggers the health impairments, the person concerned can independently bring about various changes in everyday life.

It is helpful to consciously initiate phases of low stress or to carry out balancing exercises. In addition, incorrect postures are to be avoided. The movement sequences should correspond to the physical possibilities and should be optimized. In addition, periods of rest should be taken during periods of high stress. Working on the computer or playing a musical instrument should be interrupted more frequently for the purpose of relaxation.

In physiotherapy, different exercises can be learned, which make it easier to cope with everyday life. The training units should be implemented in a disciplined manner outside of the sessions so that the situation improves. A sufficient warm-up phase is particularly important for athletes. In addition, changing the duration of a workout can already lead to a significant alleviation of the symptoms.

Tennis Elbow