Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Elbow FAQ


How can playing tennis cause tennis elbow?


When you bend your wrist back or grip with your hand, the wrist extensor muscles contract. The contracting muscles pull on the extensor tendon where it attaches on the outside bump of the elbow, the lateral epicondyle. The forces that pull on these tendons build when you hit a tennis ball in a backhand swing in tennis.

Overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm and elbow are the most common reason people develop tennis elbow. Repeating the same action of the backhand swing in tennis over and over again can put too much strain on the elbow tendons.

The repeated actions of the tennis swing may eventually cause the body to undergo an inflammatory response. Special inflammatory cells make their way to the injured tissues to help them heal. Elbow pain and swelling result.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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