Tennis elbow is a common term people use for a lateral epicondylitis injury. With all sports injuries, early intervention and physical therapy can be extremely important in your recovery. There are many physical therapy exercises for tennis elbow that you can do on your own or with the help of a trained physical therapist to reduce the pain associated with tennis elbow and to recover faster.

Black and white photograph of a person holding their elbow in pain.

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow happens when the muscles from your forearm to the elbow become inflamed. It is often caused by repetitive movements and overuse of the muscles and tendons. Tennis elbow is common in tennis and racquetball players. However, other things can cause it, including repetitive motions in the workplace.

Symptoms of tennis elbow include pain on the outside of the elbow. It might even feel like a burning sensation. You may even have lost some of your grip strength. Using ice compressions or over the counter medications may provide some relief.

Tennis Elbow Physical Therapy Exercises

There are a number of lateral epicondylitis therapy exercises that can reduce inflammation, strengthen your muscles, and reduce pain. While you should always consult a physical therapist about how to use physical therapy and to select the right exercises for your specific needs. Here are some examples of physical therapy exercises for tennis elbow that your physical therapist might recommend:

Wrist Extension

With a wrist extension, you lift a small weight to build up strength in the small muscles in your wrist. You rest your elbow on your knee with your palm facing down. You lift up the small weight with your hand, extending it toward you. Ideally, you only use your wrist to lift the weight and you keep your arm still.

Towel Twisting

By twisting a medium sized hand towel, you can stretch your wrist flexors and wrist extensors. It is the same motion that you would use if you were trying to wring out a towel. You can sit in a chair while performing this exercise. Be sure to relax your shoulders and to sit up straight.


You can work out the supinator muscle in your forearm with a small 2 pound dumbbell weight. You can sit in a chair and rest your elbow on your knee. You can slowly hold the weight and rotate your arm outward and downward. This specifically can address the pain of tennis elbow.

Many of the physical therapy exercises for tennis elbow that you’ll learn from your physical therapist will be easy and effective. Depending on the severity of your condition, it is possible to feel some relief from any pain that you have been experiencing in just a few weeks. Just be sure to consult your doctor and physical therapist to see what exercises would best help your specific needs.

Ready to Bounce Back From Your Football Injury?

Raritan Physical Therapy is here to help you recover from your tennis elbow. Gladly serving Raritan and the surrounding New Jersey areas seven days a week, our skilled professionals are goal-oriented and will help alleviate your pain and get you back into playing shape! Contact us by calling (732) 622-4400 to set up a consultation.