Tennis Elbow: What a Physiotherapist can do to Help

Posted on: 19 July 2016

Tennis elbow occurs when you injure the tendons which surround your elbow. Tears in these tendons can cause pain and inflammation in the surrounding tissue. Although this condition gets its name from the fact that it frequently affects tennis players, it can impact anyone who makes a swinging motion with their arm when performing a task, such as office workers, retail and factory workers as well as tradesmen such as carpenters. If you are diagnosed with tennis elbow, it is likely you will be referred to a physiotherapist. Below is a guide to how a physiotherapist can help to treat tennis elbow.


The first treatment your physiotherapist will offer is a massage of the affected elbow. They will also apply a combination of hot and cold packs to the area to help to ease the pain. Your physiotherapist will also be able to advise you on how best you can massage your own elbow at home.

Pain Relief

Your physiotherapist may also apply medicated gels which have an anti-inflammatory action and provide temporary relief from the pain. You may be treated using therapeutic ultrasound, which can help to speed up the healing process of the tendon, helping to relieve pain. If you are suffering from severe pain, your physiotherapist may recommend that your GP prescribes stronger pain relief medication.   


Splints and support bandages are used to support and isolate the elbow while you undergo treatment. This can help you to rest the joint and prevent you from sustaining further injuries. Your physiotherapist will be able to select and fit a splint which is appropriate for your diagnosis and which will help to maximise your comfort when wearing it.

Stretches and Exercises

Your physiotherapist will suggest different stretches and exercises which you can carry out at home, between your treatment appointments. The range of stretches and exercises used to treat tennis elbow are designed to keep the elbow mobile (so it does not seize up), increase blood flow to the area to promote healing and strengthen the muscle. Exercises are an effective way of treating tennis elbow and relieving pain, and they carry a much lower risk than surgery.

If you are suffering from tennis elbow, seek treatment from a professional physiotherapist today for advice, treatment and support. Soon you will be able to begin to live your life to the full again and enjoy all of your favourite activities.