Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow:
What causes it?

Lateral or Medial Epicondylitis, also known as tennis, golfer’s, or athlete’s elbow, is a painful overuse injury that develops with repetitive arm movements. Lack of blood flow, inflammation, and microtears in the tendons, fascia, and other connective tissues lead to poor healing and scar tissue.

Within tendinopathies, as these injuries are called, there are two parts. Tendons, which are connective tissue that attach muscles to bones, are made of thick bands of collagen fibers and due to a repetitive motion, tend to break down, tear and degenerate over time. Tendons also have poor circulation and blood supply, leading to slow healing, and heal slower than muscle.

Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow:
Symptoms & risk factors

Tennis and golfer’s elbow is a very common joint condition that can affect anyone at any age.


The pain usually begins as tightness and stiffness in the forearms, then progresses to dull pain and muscle tightness. Sharp pain is felt during specific activities that require flexing the affected muscles, which can sometimes be severe and limiting.
People often ignore feelings of mild pain and discomfort in order to continue with their activities, which can worsen the condition.


Eventually, the affected area has undergone several cycles of injury and aggravations, producing debilitating pain, stiffness, weakness, numbness, and tenderness along the elbow and forearm that radiates through the wrist and hand. Sufferers report that it is difficult to lift or twist, push, or grasp everyday objects.

Among the many occupations and activities involving repetitive arm and wrist movements that can lead to tennis elbow are:

  • Sports requiring hitting or pitching like golf, pickleball, tennis, and baseball
  • Weightlifting, Yoga, Pilates, CrossFit®, and other forms of fitness
  • Water sports like canoeing, kayaking, and fishing
  • DIY and household activities like gardening, yard work, cooking, and household activities
  • Biking, motorcycling, or riding an ATV
  • General office workers who spend all day typing and using a mouse
  • Plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and painters
  • Guitarists, violinists, and drummers

Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow: Relieving and treating pain

A reduction in arm mobility and strength will adversely affect your daily routine, sports performance, and ability to enjoy life.

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Improvement in functional activities

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Results in 1-year

Reported no pain increase

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