Skip to content

Tennis Elbow

Font Size

When To Call a Doctor

Call your doctor immediately if you had an injury to your elbow and:

  • You have severe elbow pain.
  • You cannot move your elbow normally.
  • Your elbow looks deformed.
  • Your elbow begins to swell within 30 minutes of the injury.
  • You have signs of damage to the nerves or blood vessels. These include:
    • Numbness, tingling, or a "pins-and-needles" sensation below the injury.
    • Pale or bluish skin.
    • The injured arm feeling colder to the touch than the uninjured one.

Call your doctor if you have:

Recommended Related to Arthritis

Understanding Arthritis -- Diagnosis & Treatment

A diagnosis of arthritis is the first step toward successful treatment. To diagnose arthritis, your doctor will consider your symptoms, perform a physical exam to check for swollen joints or loss of motion, and use blood tests and X-rays to confirm the diagnosis. X-rays and blood tests also help distinguish the type of arthritis you have. For example, most people with rheumatoid arthritis have antibodies called rheumatoid factors (RF) in their blood, although RF may also be present in other disorders...

Read the Understanding Arthritis -- Diagnosis & Treatment article > >

  • Pain when grasping, twisting, or lifting objects.
  • Work-related problems caused by your elbow pain.
  • Elbow pain after 2 weeks of home treatment or if treatment is making your elbow pain worse.

Watchful waiting

Watchful waiting is when you and your doctor watch your symptoms to see if your health improves on its own. If it does, no treatment is needed. If your symptoms don't get better or they get worse, then it's time to take the next treatment step.

Home treatment often helps mild tennis elbow pain. You may want to try resting the elbow and applying ice or heat several times a day for 1 to 2 weeks before you call your doctor.

Who to see

For evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment of tennis elbow, you may see:

You may be referred to a:

  • Physical therapist (for stretching and strengthening exercises).
  • Tennis or other sports instructor (for training in sports).
  • Specialist in job-related safety or ergonomics (for work-related activities).

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 10, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
psoriasis
What it looks like.
No gym workout
Moves to help control blood sugar.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
10 tips to look and feel good.
Epinephrine Injection using Auto-Injector Syringe
Life-threatening triggers.
chest x-ray
7 early symptoms.
woman biting a big ice cube
Habits that wreck your teeth.
Breast Cancer Overview
Symptoms and treatments.
embarrassed woman
Do you feel guilty after eating?
pacemaker next to xray
Treatment options.
caregiver with parent
10 tips for daily life.
birth control pills
Which kind is right for you?

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.