Symptoms of tennis elbow 

Tennis elbow causes pain and tenderness on the outside of your elbow. You may also have pain in your forearm and in the back of your hand.

The pain of tennis elbow can range from mild discomfort while using your elbow, to severe pain that can be felt when your elbow is still.

The pain is often worse when you use your arm, particularly for twisting movements. Repetitive wrist movements, such as extending your wrist and gripping, can also make the pain worse.

If you have tennis elbow, you will usually experience:

  • pain on the outside of your upper forearm, just below your elbow  the pain may also travel down your forearm towards your wrist 
  • pain when lifting or bending your arm
  • pain when writing or gripping small objects – for example, when holding a pen
  • pain when twisting your forearm  for example, when turning a door handle or opening a jar
  • pain and stiffness when fully extending your arm

An episode of tennis elbow will usually last between six months and two years. However, the majority of people (90%) will make a full recovery within a year.

Page last reviewed: 27/09/2014

Next review due: 27/09/2016