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How Do You Prevent Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow occurs when the tendons of the elbow are over stretched due to excess force, vibration going through that particular tendon (extensor carpi radialis brevis). The simple way of avoiding tennis elbow would be by being gentle or putting less force to the elbow and wrist. That is the basis in all methods to prevent tennis elbow.[1]

Tennis elbow is seen in athletes who play racquet sports, hitting and throwing sports. Only 10% of the patients diagnosed with tennis elbow play tennis. Anyone who regularly lifts, pushes or pulls can get tennis elbow. The best way to prevent it is to stop the strenuous activity that causes tennis elbow. That means stop racquet sports games, basketball, and golf or stop the strenuous activity that overstretch the tendons. If you take this practically, if you are athlete and you don’t want to stop playing your favorite sport. Then,[2]

How Do You Prevent Tennis Elbow?

How Do You Prevent Tennis Elbow?[3]

So, here are some points for you to know in order to prevent tennis elbow, if you have already got tennis elbow then to prevent recurrence.

-If you are playing any sport that involves a racquet or basketball, golf get a certified coach who knows the technique well and coach you in practicing the right technique properly.

-Before playing a sport that involves stretching of tendons of the elbow always remember to warm up and gently stretch the arm muscles. After the practice session or game always do the cool down exercises.

-Use the whole arm while playing the sport rather than the wrist and elbow more. Spread the load to the shoulder and upper arm muscles as well.

-Use light weight equipment (racquets) with a proper grip size, so that this will prevent excess strain on the tendons.

-Arm vibration can be reduced by using a larger head size racquet and by increasing the higher resonance frequency of the racquet.

-After the ball-racquet impact releases the tightness of the grip, so that the impact would not transmit to the elbow and wrist.

-Use a racquet which is soft at the grip site, so that it will provide a cushioning effect.

-Use racquets with less string tension or racquets with higher string count per unit area.

-Playing in slower surfaces such as clay courts also reduce the momentum to the ball and reduce the force that is transmitted to the elbow.

-If there is pain with one-handed grip try using two-handed backhand.

-Studies have also shown that the backhand stroke should be performed with the wrist extended at 23° from neutral position and at impact, the wrist should move further into an extension position.

-If you have already developed tennis elbow, the best way to prevent it recurring is avoiding the activity that caused the pain or finding a different way to do it.

-Use a splint on the tennis elbow when you are using your arm and remove it when you are resting or sleeping. This will prevent further damage to the tendons.[4]

Building up the forearm muscles by doing relevant exercises are needed after the tennis elbow has developed. You should consult a physiotherapist about the relevant exercises that are needed. These could be practiced in order to prevent tennis elbow as well.


The basis of prevention of tennis elbow is putting minimal amount of stress to the elbow and wrist. For this proper equipment is needed specially the racquet, which shouldn’t be too long, too tight or too light, and the grip size should be chosen properly. Then train under a professional coach who knows the proper techniques. Correct stroke mechanics should be practiced and maintained throughout. Proper tennis or squash courts should be choose by experienced coach for practice and playing games. Always do the warm up exercises and exercise to strengthen the forearm muscles. Finally, a balance training which includes training and adequate rest, so that the elbow and wrist is not over used. All of the above methods will prevent tennis elbow.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 14, 2020

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