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Tennis Elbow

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is a repetitive stress injury of the elbow that occurs when the muscles and tendons in the elbow area are torn or damaged.

What causes tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is usually caused by repetitive activities that require you to extend your wrist, such as hitting backhand in tennis or playing other racquet sports. The risk increases as your child ages and plays harder or more competitive games.

What are the symptoms of tennis elbow?

The following are the most common symptoms of tennis elbow. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain, especially over the outside area of the elbow

  • Pain with wrist movement

The symptoms of tennis elbow may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's doctor for a diagnosis.

Treatment for tennis elbow

Specific treatment for tennis elbow will be determined by your child's doctor based on the following:

  • Your child's age, overall health, and medical history

  • Extent of the injury

  • Child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies

  • Your opinion or preference

Treatment may include:

  • Rest the area

  • Ice packs to the area

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises

  • Wearing an elbow strap called a counterforce brace

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen

Prevention of tennis elbow

Some tips for preventing injury include the following:

  • Perform warm-up and cool-down exercises before and after tennis play that includes stretching the muscles in the arm.

  • Use appropriately-sized tennis equipment. Racquet handles and heads that are too big or too small or strings that are too tight or too loose can put more stress on the elbow.

  • Evaluate poor tennis technique that may be contributing to the problem. Learn new ways to play that avoid repeated stress on the joints.

Reviewed Date: 10-29-2013

Codo de Tenista
Sports Medicine and Adolescent Medicine
Joel Brenner, MD
Aisha Joyce, MD
David Smith, MD
Emergency Medicine/Urgent Care
Bradley Bishop, MD
Omar Blanco, MD
Kellease Brown, MD
James Burhop, DO
Mark Cartoski, MD
Joel Clingenpeel, MD
Noelle Gabriel, MD
Jennifer Galiotos, MD
Kathleen Garland, MD
Sandip Godambe, MD
Theresa Guins, MD
Andrea Hornbuckle, MD
Michelle Hughes, DO
Rupa Kapoor, MD
Connie Ketten, MD
Susan Lamb, MD
Jon D. Mason, MD
Jennifer McCarthy, MD
Jill Miller, MD
Stephen Miller III, MD
Alison Ohana, MD
Kelli Petronis, MD
Michael Poirier, MD
Faiqa Qureshi, MD
Dana Ramirez, MD
Lisa Remaklus, MD
Rosemarie Santos, MD
Suzanne Sartori, MD
James Schmidt, MD
Kim Schock, MD
Gretchen Stepanovich, MD
Kelly Vokoun, MD
Nicholas White, MD
Kellie Williams, MD
Childrens Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
J. Marc Cardelia, MD
Allison Crepeau, MD
Cara Novick, MD
H. Sheldon St. Clair, MD
Carl St. Remy, MD
Allison Tenfelde, MD
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Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.