Some people find tennis elbow treatment tricky but it is important to understand the condition and work with other healthcare professionals who know how to rehab this condition. Firstly it is important to know that the natural history (or normal course) of tennis elbow is that it will settle within a year and over the age of 65 symptoms are rare.
In mild cases over the counter pain killers and avoidance of the aggravating/repetitive overloading may be all that is needed to settle symptoms down.
In cases where the symptoms are severe and aggravating factors cannot be avoided, physiotherapy has been shown in several studies to be the best first line treatment to cure tennis elbow. Physiotherapy should be exercise based, should focus on strengthening the wrist extensor muscles, and usually takes at least 3 weeks to show benefit.
In some cases, patients may have a repetitive aggravating factor due to work or sport which cannot be avoided and in those cases physiotherapy may need to be used in a different way where regular breaks from repetition are needed, and physiotherapy exercises are used during rest breaks to warm up the muscles before starting the activity again.
In this video Physiotherapist Bradley Scanes and I discuss the use of physiotherapy for tennis elbow:
Once we confirm the diagnosis as tennis elbow and exclude other causes of pain on the outside of the elbow then physiotherapy is usually the first line of treatment. The British Elbow & Shoulder Society has recently produced the video below with a home exercise program for tennis elbow:
In this video I discuss the causes and treatment options for tennis elbow: