Tennis elbow is inflammation, soreness, or pain on the outside (lateral) side of the upper arm near the elbow.
There may be a partial tear of the tendon fibers, which connect muscle to bone. The tear may be at or near where these fibers begin, on the outside of the elbow.
• Elbow pain that gradually worsens
• Pain radiating from the outside of the elbow to the forearm and back of the hand when grasping or twisting
• Weak grasp
Signs and tests
The diagnosis is made based on signs and symptoms, because x-rays are usually normal. Often there will be pain or tenderness when the tendon is gently pressed near where it attaches to the upper arm bone, over the outside of the elbow.
There is also pain near the elbow when the wrist is extended (bent backwards, like revving a motorcycle engine) against resistance.