Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Elbow FAQ

Question:

I'm 50 years old and took up tennis to play with my teenage daughters this year. I got tennis elbow in the first month. I see other people my age playing tennis. How come I can't play without getting pain?

Answer:

Tennis elbow is common in adults who have never played tennis before. People over 40 years old are most likely to get tennis elbow. It could be you are using a racket that's too stiff. Have someone with good experience check this out for you.

Studies show players who hit the ball late or who "frame" the ball are more likely to get hurt. Framing the ball means the player has miscalculated the swing and hit the ball with the frame of the tennis racquet instead of the strings. Ask someone who plays tennis to watch your swing and offer suggestions.

Every physical activity or sport requires strength in certain muscles. In tennis, weakness in the muscles of the forearm can lead to tennis elbow or other injury. Make sure you are warming up properly before playing. An exercise program to build up strength is also a good idea.

You may want to consider taking some lessons through your local parks and rec department, a tennis club, the YMCA, or other health club in your area.

Jan D. Rompe, MD, et al. Repetitive Low-Energy Shock Wave Treatment for Chronic Lateral Epicondylitis in Tennis Players. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. May/June 2004. Vol. 32. No. 3. Pp. 734-743.

*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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