You don’t have to be Serena Williams or Roger Federer to be diagnosed with tennis elbow. You may be surprised to learn that most patients with this condition have never played tennis, not even once! Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is soreness or pain caused by overuse of the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the outside of the elbow.

The term tennis elbow originated from the high prevalence of the condition in tennis players. Players experience pain when grasping the racquet, with backhand strokes being most problematic, but pain may be associated with any grasping activity, including holding a coffee cup.

Tennis elbow is common in racquet sports athletes, as well as painters, carpenters and mechanics. Today, the increased use of and hours spent typing at computers can make any person susceptible to epicondylitis.

Symptoms of tennis elbow include:

  • Elbow pain
  • Pain in the back of the hand when grasping or twisting
  • Weak grasp

If you have pain on the outside of your elbow that limits your activity or interferes with your job and hobbies, you may want to consider seeing a doctor for evaluation.