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 the elbow, which may travel down the forearm when lifting or bending your arm
- when gripping small objects, such as a pen
- when twisting your forearm, such as turning a door handle or opening a jar
You may also have pain and stiffness when fully extending your arm.
Tennis elbow usually lasts between 6 months and 2 years, with most people (90%) making a full recovery within a year.
Page last reviewed: 10 November 2020
Next review due: 10 November 2023