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What are the warning signs of tennis elbow?

A warning sign of tennis elbow is pain on the outer part of the elbow. This pain can occur when you are doing simple tasks, like:

  • lifting a coffee cup or lifting small objects
  • doing dishes
  • pulling or pushing anything

If the pain continues, then there's obviously a problem. You should seek medical attention for treatment.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider.

I have had tennis elbow before and it hurt! Since I don't play too much tennis, I had the most pain when playing ice hockey. On the other side of tennis elbow, I have treated dozens of people suffering from tennis elbow with very good results. 

Some warning signs of tennis elbow include;

  • Pain with squeezing or grasping (like when shaking hands or brushing teeth).
  • Pain slowly increasing around the outside of the elbow.
  • Pain is made worse by stabilizing or moving the wrist with force (like when using tools, opening a jar or using a tennis racquet or hockey stick).
  • Pain radiating down the forearm.

If you have any of these symptoms you should take a break from any of the activities that aggravate your elbow. Ice can help to decease the pain and inflammation. A bag of peas works in a pinch but a bag of ice with a thin towel in between the skin and ice will be stronger. Keep the ice on for 15-20 minutes, take it off for 20-30 minutes and repeat this cycle 1-2 times. Massage therapy, acupuncture, stretching and strengthening exercises can help to improve tennis elbow.

I often see tennis elbow stemming from a rounded shoulder, poor posture or poor technical skill. See your physician or licensed healthcare professional if pain persists.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.