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Symptoms - Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow causes pain and tenderness on the outside of your elbow. You may also have pain in your forearm and in the back of your hand.

The pain of tennis elbow can range from mild discomfort while using your elbow to severe pain that you can feel when your elbow is still.

The pain is often worse when you use your arm, particularly for twisting movements. Repetitive wrist movements can also make the pain worse. These include extending your wrist and gripping,

If you have tennis elbow, you will usually have pain:

  • on the outside of the elbow, which may travel down the forearm when lifting or bending your arm
  • when twisting your forearm, such as turning a door handle or opening a jar
  • when gripping small objects, such as a pen

You may also have pain and stiffness when fully extending your arm.

Tennis elbow usually lasts between 6 months and 2 years. Most people make a full recovery within a year.

Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE

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This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.

Page last reviewed: 21 March 2021
Next review due: 21 March 2024