3 Simple Ways To Relieve Tendonitis In the Elbow (Even if you don’t play Tennis)


Elbow tendonitis is a common condition that we see in our clinic. Many patients come in saying they have stiffness and pain outside their elbow.

It may be stopping them from playing sports, lifting the laundry basket, or doing the dishes. In this article, you will learn what elbow tendonitis is, what are common symptoms, and how you can relieve your elbow pain.

Anyone can get tendonitis. As you age. Especially over 35 the tendons age as they tolerate less stress and are less elastic, therefore making it easier to tear. 

What is Tendonitis?

Tendonitis can happen to any tendon in the body and it causes that tendon to become inflamed as it attaches to the bone.  Tendons connect muscle to bone and is the transition of muscle tissue becoming bone.  Since bones have a sensitive outer layer called the periosteum full of nerve endings, these injuries near the bone are very painful. This condition occurs with repeated overload to the muscle causing inflammation in the tendons and connective tissue around the elbow. 

This condition occurs when a repetitive motion involving the elbow is performed over time.

Repeated contraction of the forearm that you use to straighten and raise your hand and wrist is what causes tendonitis in the elbow. 

Do you play pickleball or tennis and are suffering from elbow pain? Read this blog to find out why.

What are common symptoms of Tendonitis in the elbow?

Elbow tendonitis is common among people who are 30 and older. If you are suffering from elbow tendonitis you may be suffering from some of these symptoms:

  • Tingling in the arm and hand
  • pain on the outside of the elbow
  • Tenderness and swelling in the elbow
  • Ability to grip an object may be affected
  • Reduced range of motion 

You may also suffer from a small ache when you’re at rest and soreness around the elbow bump. Resting your elbow and occasionally icing your elbow on and off is a goof place to start when examining how serious your elbow pain is.

If you are experiencing pain when making a fist you may have a golfer’s elbow and when you have pain when opening your fingers you may have a tennis elbow.

Some activities that may help cause tendonitis are golfing, painting, scrubbing, raking, tennis, and gardening. 

Watch this video to learn a stretch to improve your elbow.

How can I relieve elbow pain?

Depending on how severe your pain is, it may heal in a few weeks. If you have had damage to your elbow or trauma it may take months for your elbow to heal. An elbow brace may help support the elbow and reduce the tension. Usually, tendonitis will heal on its own in 4-6 weeks.  If you have pain beyond 6 weeks its time to look for a good physical therapist in your area to help.

Modify your Activity

You may need to give your elbow a break from whatever may have caused the pain. It is beneficial for some to continue some sort of exercise to help strengthen the elbow tendons.

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If you’re unsure of your diagnosis but are struggling with elbow pain work to avoid putting any pressure on the elbow. If you are still experiencing pain then go to your doctor’s office or even a physical therapist.

Massage and Stretch the Area

In the video below I offer 2 simple ways to stretch and self-massage tight muscles contributing to elbow tendinitis.

These are quick ways to get some relief but they won’t recondition the irritated tendon causing the pain.

Strengthen and Recondition the Tendon

Here is a video that describes how to use the lengthening phase of a contraction to recondition and heal painful tendonitis.

Eccentric exercises for the elbow like the one in the video are vital to getting relief from painful elbow tendonitis.

In Conclusion

Physical therapy can help you to strengthen and improve your mobility. Physical therapy can also help to decrease any pain you may be having as well. 

At Preferred Physical Therapy we can help you live a pain-free life again without painkillers or surgery, even if you’ve been having pain for years.

Physical therapy is very beneficial for showing you what exercises you need in order to strengthen, improve mobility, etc.

 We take time with our prospective patients to learn what is going on so we can help them get to the root cause of their problems.

Once that is accomplished they get one on one time with the physical therapists and exercises that are designed specifically for what they are going through. 

Our physical therapists take the time to teach our patients why they are doing each exercise and why it is beneficial for them.

We never want something to be painful. If it is, we ease off that exercise or find a different way to do it with no pain. However, you will be pushed to do your best and succeed. 

Nick Hunter, PT, DPT

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