The Elbow & Forearm

Elbow Tendonitis

This is a very common condition involving inflammation of the tendons crossing the elbow. There are three groups of tendons which can be involved, the lateral, the medial, or the posterior compartments.

Symptoms that patient’s experience are:

Pain over the inside, outside, or back of the elbow, depending on which tendons are involved.

The onset of pain is usually gradual. It may be related to wrist extension activities (lateral tendonitis) or wrist flexion and downward rotation (medial tendonitis).

The pain varies from a dull ache or no pain at rest to sharp twinges or a straining sensation with activities.


In acute cases ice, immobilization, and gentle range of motion is used to resolve the inflammation and progress the condition to a more treatable chronic state. Once the inflammation is controlled the condition is managed using advice as to the appropriate level and type of activity that may be preformed, ultrasound and friction massage, as well as a strengthening and mobility program.