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Tennis Elbow Therapy

Tennis Elbow (in Golf)

What is it?

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is an injury that impacts the muscle and tendons of the forearm that extend from the elbow to your wrist and fingers. Symptoms generally gradually develop with mild pain that increases with continued activity. This is generally regarded as an overuse injury.


  • Pain on the lateral side of the elbow (usually lead side arm)

  • Weakened grip strength

  • Pain gets worse with activity, especially turning motion, like turning a wrench


Tennis elbow is a form of tendonitis, inflammation of the tendon, on the lateral side of the elbow. These injuries are generally the result of overuse but may be caused by several other factors as well. The muscles of the forearm that attach to the lateral side of the elbow draw the wrist and hand backwards so any activity that involves this movement can contribute to pain. Movements that involve rotating the forearm (like turning a wrench) may also contribute to pain in this area.

Swing faults such as 1. Improper grip 2. Taking deep divots 3. “Chicken wing” lead arm may lead to higher risk of injury.


Perform this routine 4-5 days/weekly. - 2 - 3 sets of the circuit

Passive stretches may be performed multiple times a day or as necessary

If pain is present, reduce the frequency, and contact me.

1. Gliding technique on extensor muscles of forearm (1 minute or as desired)

Manual therapy technique involving massage of the muscle on the top side of the forearm

  • Start by placing your thumb or massage tool on the muscle near the elbow joint on the top side of your forearm (palm will be facing down) and push down at a 45* angle

  • Glide your thumb or tool down the muscle toward the wrist

  • Work through the muscles on both sides of the forearm

**** see video for demo ***

2. Passive extension stretches of wrist (8 reps each direction)

Wrist stretch, can be completed multiple times throughout the day.

  • Extend your arm straight in front of you

  • Assist the palm toward the forearm, to stretch the extensor muscles on top of the forearm

  • Return hand back to neutral position

  • Assist the top of the hand toward the top side of the forearm (stretches flexor muscles)

  • Return hand back to neutral

3. Kneading and muscle tendinous junction (30 to 60 seconds)

  • Pinch the muscle between the thumb and fingers like your kneading dough

  • Start on the extensor muscles near the elbow joint and work toward the wrist

*** see video for demo ***

4. Ball squeeze (3 second squeeze x 15 second rest x 4 reps)

  • Using a soft squishy ball or rolled up towel, spread your fingers and hold the ball with your elbow bent at 90*

  • Squeeze the ball with all fingers for 3-5 seconds, release for 20-30 seconds

5. Gliding with extension of wrist (30 - 60 seconds)

  • While working the gliding technique from movement #1 add in active wrist extension

  • Start with your wrist slightly bent (extended) so the back of your hand is up (toward forearm)

  • As you glide from elbow toward the wrist begin to point your hand and fingers toward the ground

*** see video for demo ***

6. Wrist rotation with ball squeeze *add in extension (5 reps)

  • Hold a soft ball, rolled up towel or shirt, with your elbow at 90* and palm facing down

  • Squeeze the ball and rotate your wrist so your palm faces the ceiling

  • Return back to starting position

  • Repeat start with palm up and rotating down

  • *Can advance to quick drop catches (holding the ball toward the ground, release it and catch it quickly) *** see video for demo ***

7. Circular friction at joints (30 seconds on wrist/ 30 seconds at elbow)

  • Using your thumb or massage tool, apply pressure down on the tendon near the lateral elbow (tendon attachment) and then wrist joints

  • Perform small circular motions for 30-60 seconds

**** see video for demo *****

8. Eccentric reverse curl (5 second slow eccentric x 5 reps)

  • Holding a small weight, band, or can (we’re looking for 1 lbs, so a 16oz can works well)

  • Bend your elbow to 90*, palm facing down

  • Lift your hand up so your wrist is bent and your hand is closer to the top of your forearm

  • Slowly lower the hand (extend your wrist) just past neutral. This should take 3-5 seconds

9. Club hold wrist wrist rotation into flexion/extension (3 reps each)

  • Hold a golf club near the club head with your palm down

  • Rotate your forearm so your thumb is up

  • Bend your wrist in extension (top of hand toward forearm)

  • Move to neutral

  • Bend your wrist into flexion (palm toward forearm)

  • *As you strengthen move your hand further from the club head

10. Club hold radial/ulnar deviation (3 reps each)

  • Hold the club near the club with your palm down

  • Rotate your wrist so your thumb faces the ceiling

  • Tilt the wrist so your thumb moves toward the forearm (radial side flexion)

  • Move back to neutral

  • Tilt the wrist so your pinky moves toward the forearm (ulnar side flexion)

  • Rotate the palm back toward the ground

  • Repeat

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