The Athlete

Tennis Elbow

One of the most common complaints of active individuals is pain in or around the elbow joint. Tennis elbow can be caused by a number of things. The underlying cause is usually due to repetitive trauma to the muscles that make your wrist extend. The reason it has been named tennis elbow really is due to the evolution of sports medicine itself. Physicians began looking closely at the cause of these problems and questioning the folks about their activities and then examining the cause. It just so happened that tennis and the use or misuse of the tennis racket was one thing that continually popped up.

Tennis elbow then became the generic name for the problem, but does not necessarily reflect the cause. Tennis elbow can be caused by any repetitive motion where you extend and flex the wrist over a long period of time with many, many repetitions. Golf, hammering, gardening any of these activities can produce a tennis type elbow problem.


Treatment can involve several things, dependent upon the severity of the problem and how long it has been bothering you. Since it is an inflammation of the muscles and tendons, sometimes cortisone injections are used for chronic problems. Sometimes it is as simple as a support. The objective is to reduce the discomfort and at the same time provide support for the soft tissue surrounding the bones that make up the forearm.


The purpose of a tennis elbow support is to provide the muscles and forearm protection and some restriction of movement of the forearm bones. At THE ATHLETE STORE , we provide elbow supports specifically designed to provide support and compression to the area and at the same time, allow for unrestricted movement of the elbow.


Rehabilitation involves more than wearing a support. Rest, ice, improving your technique, stretching and strengthening of the forearm muscles are all important in eliminating the problem. The most important part of the rehabilitation program is strengthening exercises which both promote recovery and help keep tennis elbow from returning.

EXERCISE WITH WEIGHTS: If you have a support, wear it while doing the exercises.


To do wrist curls, sit in a chair with your forearm resting on your thigh (or table). With your palm up and holding the dumbbell, raise your wrist up as high as you can go, hold, relax and repeat. Do sets to fatigue, that is, repeat the exercise until you feel your muscles are fatigued. Rest for a couple of minutes and then repeat to fatigue again. Do three sets to fatigue every day. Increase the resistance as you get stronger. You can do the same exercise using Theraband or Theratubing resistance cords in various strengths.


To do the forearm exercises, sit with your elbow resting as before and palm facing up. Hold the weight by one end and slowly rotate your forearm until your palm is facing down. Return to the starting position. Repeat as above. You can also use resistance tubing for this exercise.