Tennis Elbow Treatment

Tennis Elbow Treatment

Posted on 11/17/2017

Causes of tennis elbow

All of the joints in our bodies are surrounded by muscles and tendons. These control the use of the joint, and in the case of the elbow, the use of the arm. Tennis elbow is caused by the overuse of the muscles attached to your elbow and used to straighten your wrist. If the tendons and muscles become strained, small tears and inflammation may develop around the bony point of your elbow, known as the lateral epicondyle.

Repetitive stress on these muscles, such as from playing racquet or throwing sports, painting, typing or gardening can cause a person to develop tennis elbow. It can also sometimes occur as a result of injury to the elbow.

Symptoms of tennis elbow

The main symptom associated with tennis elbow is pain. This can occur at different times including:

-         When you grip small objects such as a pen or fork

-         When you twist your forearm, such as to open a jar or turn a doorknob

-         When you lift or bend your arm

You may notice pain on the outside of your upper forearm near to your elbow, and it could prove difficult to fully extend your arm.

Treatment for tennis elbow

Most cases of tennis elbow do naturally improve over time, but can take several months or as long as a year to resolve entirely. If you find that the condition is causing problems in your day to day life then you may wish to explore treatment options to improve your symptoms more quickly.


The best thing you can do for your tennis elbow is to rest it as much as possible. Although this may be difficult if the condition has been caused by an action you perform at work, there may be a way in which you can change the way in which you use your wrist and arm to alleviate the stress on the muscles. Alternatively, try and take regular rest breaks, during which time there are some exercises that you can follow to improve your tennis elbow.


Performing regular exercises can help to improve the strength of your muscles and reduce the likelihood that you will develop tennis elbow. These include wrist lifts, wrist flexes and elbow bends. A qualified and experienced hand surgeon, such as Dr. Chin or Dr. Lau, will be able to advise you which exercises will be most beneficial in treating tennis elbow.

Hot/cold therapies

Many people who suffer from tennis elbow may also experience some degree of swelling. Inflammation of the area can make symptoms worse and severely limit the use of your arm. Hot and cold therapies have been proven to be successful in alleviating swelling and reducing pain.

Topical NSAIDS

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – also known as NSAIDS – can help to reduce swelling experienced as a result of tennis elbow. However, orally taken versions can induce a number of unpleasant side effects including nausea and diarrhea. Instead, many doctors are recommending the use of topical NSAIDS which are applied directly onto the skin of the affected area, where they are drawn in to the bloody stream to have the desired effect.

Surgery for tennis elbow

Arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery is an option for patients who haven’t found any other tennis elbow treatments to be successful. Arthroscopic tennis elbow surgery is often performed as a day-patient case, meaning that you will be able to return home the very same day. You will also be asleep for the duration of the procedure.

The surgery is minimally invasive, meaning fewer complications and a faster recovery. It also has a success rate of around 80%.


If you are suffering from tennis elbow and are fed up with the pain and inconvenience it causes, contact Dr. Chin & Dr. Lau and the team here at East Bay would be delighted to help you. Arrange your consultation today and look forward to outstanding quality tennis elbow treatment and patient care.


Please contact us today to schedule an appointment or get more information about our hand and upper extremity surgical services.