Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow | A common cause of lateral elbow pain.

Lateral Epicondyltis. Tennis Elbow, Elbow pain, wrist pain, osteopath, osteopathy, Osteo, Osteopathy and elbow pain, Osteopathy and tennis elbow, Osteopath Bentleigh, Osteopath Melbourne, Osteopath Bayside, Osteopath Bentleigh East

Do you have pain on the outside of your elbow? Does it flare up when you grip or lift things with your wrist? Then you may be suffering from lateral epicondylitis (Tennis elbow).

Lateral epicondylitis or Tennis elbow is a common condition where patients present with pain on the outside of the elbow. It is typically considered an overuse injury commonly caused by repetitive strain involving wrist extension, radial deviation and/or forearm supination.  When the wrist and forearm is subjected to increased load and repeated gripping and/or wrist extension, sometimes the muscles that are typically involved in wrist extension are unable to keep up with the demands of the load. As a result, the muscles will tighten and subsequently pull on the adjacent tendon that attaches to the common extensor origin located on the lateral/outside of the elbow. This usually causes pain and discomfort.

 This kind of injury/condition can commonly be seen in activities that require twisting, gripping heavy objects and where the wrist is subjected to long periods of extension e.g keyboard typing. It is usually as result of poor mechanics and technique or improper use of equipment. Activities such as tennis, badminton, squash, and builders, and office workers are the most noticeable ones that present with this condition.

Patients with Tennis elbow usually present with:

  • Pain with insidious onset 
  • Pain over the lateral side/outside of the elbow 
  • Pain that is precipitated by an acute injury or strain 
  • Mild to severe pain depending on the activity/movement 
  • Occasional tenderness over the common extensor origin 
  • Reproduced pain with resisted wrist/finger extension and/or supination/turning the wrist inwards

In most cases, Tennis elbow will resolve itself over time with rest, activity modification and anti-inflammatories. Although, acute cases of lateral epicondylitis can progress into chronic cases and worsen over time if not treated and managed properly. This is where active rehabilitation and lifestyle modification is required.

Here are some common exercises that can be prescribed that may help you lateral epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow). This is general advice only and not to be substituted for personalised medical advice.  

Forearm extensor stretch:
  • Extend your affected arm straight out in front of you with your palm face down, and drop your hand towards the floor. 
  • With your other hand, apply a gentle pressure to the back of your wrist and hold. 
  • You should feel this stretch down the back of your forearm.
  • Perform for 30 seconds for 3 sets.
  • Take a minute break between each set.
Resisted wrist extension exercise:
  • Have your forearm supported on a table and allow the wrist to hang over the edge.
  • Find a dumbbell that is 1-2kg, make sure the weight is challenging but not too difficult.
  • Starting in the flexed position where your wrist is pointed down, extend the wrist up and then slowly lower the wrist all the way down.
  • Perform 3 sets of 10 with a minute rest in between each set.

If you’re experiencing pain or had a recent flare up of an old injury, we recommend you consult with one of our Osteopaths to find out the “do’s and don’ts” depending on the severity of your injury as there is no ‘one size fits all’ with treatment plans.


  1. Buchanan BK, Varacallo M. Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) [Updated 2023 Aug 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:

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Valued Health Osteopathy is located at 3/658 Centre Road, Bentleigh East, Melbourne, Victoria, 3165.

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About Tom McCormick

Dr. Tom McCormick (Osteopath) is the Director and Principal Osteopath at Valued Health Osteopathy in Bentleigh East. Tom is a qualified Osteopath and Dry needling practitioner and is also a Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Coach. Tom has also completed further studies in optimal movement patterns with the FMS (Functional Movement Systems).Tom believes it is important to address the immediate issues causing pain, however feels it is equally important to improve his patient’s ongoing movement, tissue quality, muscle activation and muscle strength in order to optimize injury recovery and reduce the chance of re-aggravation. Since Tom graduated as an Osteopath he has had the opportunity to work both in Queensland and Victoria within private practice and has worked closely with sporting teams. Tom has suffered many injuries and complaints over the years due to his heavy interest in sport. From broken bones, torn cartilage, tendon and muscle injuries to even a double hernia repair, this is ultimately what led Tom into the health field. Tom has a hands on approach to healthcare by utilizing a broad range of techniques that are tailored specifically to each patient. Such techniques include mobilization, soft tissue massage, stretching, trigger point therapy, dry needling and exercise rehabilitation. Although Tom enjoys treating athletes, he also thrives on the sense of enjoyment that comes with helping his patients of all ages with many other injuries. Tom also has experience in treating headaches, back and neck pain, hip, knee and ankle injuries and shoulder and elbow pain. Here at Valued Health Osteopathy Tom will use his Osteopathic experience, coupled with his further training to assess, diagnose, rehabilitate and treat in order to get you moving better with less pain. Outside of work Tom loves to travel, watch plenty of sport, exercise and loves a good coffee.