Ask Dr. B Episode 13: What Causes Tennis Elbow

Best Treatment and Natural History

By Dr. Erin Boynton, MD, FRCS

Do you have the good fortune of suffering from tennis elbow, yet you don’t play tennis? Don’t worry, you are in good company, only 5% of cases of tennis elbow are actually associated with playing the game.

Any repetitive movements of the upper extremity can lead to this wear and tear phenomenon that leads to pain on the outside of the elbow. In this week’s session, we learn about the causes, treatment and natural history of this painful elbow condition.

In Part 2, the following questions are addressed:

  • 12:15 – ​hello doctor! I broke my right radius when I fell back while doing a clean (my forearm got stuck between the floor and the barbell). (1/2) I have recovered most of my Mobility, but now I have a pain when trying to fully extend the elbow, as well as pain in the wrist when flexing and/or applying pressure (no more push-ups, overhead). question is, I feel the pain in the elbow very similarly as when I had tennis elbow, should I treat it the same way?
  • 12: 56 – ​Hi I’ve had tennis elbow for 15 years, following a press up challenge. I’ve had lots of physio but can’t get rid of it. As it’s now chronic, will it ever go away? I’m 60. I’ve got scoliosis, winged scapula and different leg lengths. Guess I’m stuffed!
  • 01:03 – ​hi i feel symptoms of tennis elbow on my right elbow, my age is 31 ,could you please guide me on how to mange pain curently i have annoying pain on my right elbow, thanks…
  • ​01:05 – Why does a tendinopathy pain keep reappearing years after it healed?
  • ​1:12 – Hi, I was sleeping with my elbows bent at night, and I’ve put them below my chest and putted the whole weight on my elbows, and after I woke up, my elbows cracked loudly! and it hurts right now.

Previous Episodes:

Ep 09: Shoulder Instability: Signs, Symptoms and How to Prevent Dislocation

Ep 10: Lower Back Pain: Common Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Ep 11: Lower Back Pain: Myths vs Facts (Herniated Disc Recovery, Chronic Pain, Stretching)

Ep 12: Plantar Fasciitis Causes and Treatment (when you can’t stand it anymore!)

About the Author

Dr. Erin Boynton, MD, FRCS is an orthopedic surgeon who was the team surgeon for the Toronto Blue Jays for 10 years and has worked with other professional teams and athletes from many different sports. She currently serves as the Chief Medical Director of the Rogers Cup WTA Tennis Tournament and is the ITF Canadian Champion in tennis for her age group (we won't say which group that is!).