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  • Emma Green, PT

10 Myths surrounding Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)



1. You must play tennis to get it!

Most people who experience “Tennis Elbow” have never played tennis, or at least not recently.

2. Rest will cure it.

Rest from aggravating factors does help to settle the symptoms, but it doesn’t cure the condition.

3. Cortisone shots are the best treatment.

There are non-invasive treatment techniques that work much better at resolving Tennis Elbow, than invasive injections.

4. When shots don’t work, surgery is the only option.

Surgery is an absolute last resort for this condition and is never indicated when a patient has been through the correct treatment protocol.

5. It always comes back.

This is generally true for treatments that address the SYMPTOMS of Tennis Elbow. However, patients that undergo treatments that address the CAUSE of Tennis Elbow, rarely experience a relapse.

6. It will spread to the other arm.

This can happen in more extreme cases, especially if someone has delayed seeking treatment for whatever reason. Generally, it is compensation in other tissues that can then lead to the other arm becoming painful. Getting the correct treatment sooner rather than later can prevent this from happening.

7. You only get it in your dominant arm.

Not True! Tennis Elbow affects an overused tendon, whether it’s your dominant or non-dominant side.

8. It will go away by itself eventually.

NOT TRUE!! This condition does not settle down by itself! The symptoms may feel better, but it WILL come back as the tendon itself is still injured. The correct treatments restore the tendon to its normal state.

9. Anti inflammatory medication helps.

This may be the case in the very early stages of this issue, but by the time most people feel the symptoms associated with Tennis Elbow, the inflammatory stage of the healing process is long finished. The anti-inflammatory medication therefore, has nothing to work on.

10. Physical therapy doesn’t work.

NOT TRUE!! The correct techniques can completely resolve this condition! However, it is always more beneficial to see a specialist physical therapist who has experience in treating this complex issue specifically – you wouldn’t go to your Primary Care Physician for brain surgery!!


I was inspired to write this post by 2 of my recent patients;

one had undergone 4 cortisone shots before seeking a second opinion and the other had had to beg her insurance company to send her for physical therapy before having injections or surgery. She described to me how she was crying on the phone as they didn’t want to authorize physical therapy, but that she should go for shots and then surgery!!!!

Her symptoms are resolving beautifully with non-invasive physical therapy techniques….


If you have further questions, or this information has sparked an interest in what we do, please feel free to reach out to us.


Have you, or someone you know, suffered for too long with elbow pain? If you would like to find out how we can help you, hit the contact us button now!


I work with people suffering with this condition and return them to their prior level of function and activities. Ask me how…or listen to this video...



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