Tennis Elbow

Editor: Dr. Amy Spencer, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC, CSCS, CKTP - A Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy and Certified Manual Therapist. Owner and Physical Therapist, Specialized Physical Therapy in North Reading, MA.

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

Specialized Physical Therapy Tennis ElbowTennis elbow is caused by the overuse of your wrist extensor muscle movements. Repeated use of these muscles causes small tears to develop in the tendon, which leads to irritation, scarring, and pain on your outer elbow – a condition called tendonitis. The tendon most commonly involved in this type of elbow injury is called the extensor carpi radialis brevis. Tendonitis or tennis elbow is usually found in men and women that are between 30 and 50 years old.

Symptoms of Tennis Elbow:

Tennis elbow usually starts with a gradual onset of pain or burning in the outer elbow joint. The pain will then spread to your forearm and wrist. It will make it painful to grasp or lift small objects, shake hands, or open jars.

Causes of Tennis Elbow:

Tennis elbow earned its name, because it is often associated with the repetitive motion of grasping and swinging a tennis racquet. Excessive typing and repetitive clicking of the computer mouse are other common causes of tendonitis in the elbow. Any repetitive flexing of the wrist, such as painting, gardening, or tightening of screws can also result in tendonitis.

Treatment of Tennis Elbow:

Your elbow is a sensitive and complex joint that should be treated carefully with ultrasound, Kinesio tape, manual therapy, arm stretches, and strengthening exercises. These types of physical therapy treatments will promote tendon healing, restore normal range of motion, and rebuild muscle strength. Ultrasound and Kinesio tape is needed to improve blood flow, increase tissue flexibility, reduce muscle spasms, and ease the pain.

Manual therapies like massages are extremely helpful at reducing scar tissue and inspiring new blood vessels to replace the damaged tissue. There are also specific exercises that will improve the mobility in your elbow and help you regain your arm strength. The right combination of massaging and exercising the inflamed elbow area will help you restore normal use of your hand and elbow.

SPT is just minutes from Andover, Reading, North Andover, and Wilmington MA

Specialized Physical Therapy is conveniently located in North Reading and also proudly serves residents in Andover, Reading, North Andover, Wilmington, Boxford, Burlington, Woburn, Stoneham, and Methuen.  We offer free and spacious parking located within a few steps away from our clinic’s door.


Schedule Your Appointment Today to Regain Freer Movement and Healthy Living!

Specialized Physical Therapy practices a comprehensive approach to total muscle, joint, and spine health. We are the preferred physical therapy clinic in Greater Boston, because we offer an extensive range of physical therapy services designed to restore your physical strength and mobility while reducing your pain. Our physical therapy clinic sets itself apart by:

  • Providing proven techniques for alleviating minor, major, acute, and chronic pain.
  • Specializing in sports medicine, manual therapy, post-surgical care, auto accidents, prenatal and postpartum conditions, orthopedic injuries and overuse injuries.
  • Maintaining a clean, comfortable, private and quiet clinic, making it ideal for private consulting, educating and performing the latest physical therapy techniques.
  • Focusing on your individual needs, not the bottom line, because we are a small, physical therapist-owned and family-oriented clinic.
  • Treating one patient at a time in our private treatment room to make sure that you get the personalized care and attention you need.
  • Completing your treatment from start to finish with only exceptional doctorate trained and fully licensed Massachusetts physical therapists that have excellent skills, breadth of knowledge, and invaluable experience to help you reach your goals and succeed.


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