Tennis or Golfer’s Elbow

Tennis and golfers elbow

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) occurs when the tendon which joins your forearm muscles to the outside of your elbow thickens and swells or develops small tears. It causes pain and tenderness. It typically affects the dominant upper extremity and is associated with repetitive and forceful activity.  Pain is often most debilitating with wrist extension. Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) causes pain and inflammation in the tendons which connect the forearm to the elbow. The pain revolves around a bony bump on the inside of your elbow and may radiate into the forearm. Golfer’s elbow is often caused by overusing the muscles in the forearm that allow you to grip, rotate your arm, and flex your wrist. To find out more watch Mr. Ali Noorani’s lecture on tennis elbow treatment.

Despite the names, tennis elbow and golfers elbow are usually a result of everyday activities. Although, we see a significant number of people that have elbow pain due to sporting activities.

You may experience pain in your forearm and in the back of your hand. Symptoms can range from a mild discomfort to severe pain that can be felt even when the joint is not active.

There is increasing evidence of PRP injections and its efficacy in treating these conditions. See our evidence page or make an an enquiry.

Mr. Ali Noorani: Compared to steroid injections, PRP therapy is a more effective treatment for tennis elbow.

What treatments does Living Room Health Regenerative Treatments offer?

Our renowned medical team provides a range of non-invasive treatments, from the traditional to the innovative. Many of our treatments can be carried out on an outpatient basis, without the need for a hospital stay. In fact, many patients can resume their normal activities within several hours of their visit!


Micro-Fragmented Adipose Tissue (MFAT)

Over a one-day period, this treatment is exclusively offered to our patients. MFAT Injections use a pioneering technology whereby your body’s own adipose (fat) cells are used to treat pain and inflammation. MFAT Injections are minimally invasive due to the guidance of ultrasound. Altogether the procedure takes about an hour to perform with a minimal recovery time. As well as being a potential alternative to surgery, MFAT Injections can also aid post-surgery recovery.

Read Angela’s story who had this treatment in her knees. She is now pain free and her life has changed completely.


Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC)

BMAC Injections harness the natural healing abilities of your own mesenchymal stem cells, found in the bone marrow, to regenerate and reconstruct the musculoskeletal system by replacing cells and tissues damaged by degenerative diseases or trauma. BMAC Injections treat pain and inflammation by accelerating healing through the assistance of biological growth factors. This minimally invasive, day-case procedure is done under x-ray guidance and has a minimal recovery time. Our innovative BMAC Injections offer an alternative treatment plan to traditional invasive surgery.

Read more here.


Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

This is an effective and well-researched procedure that’s a potential alternative to surgery. It takes advantage of the blood’s natural healing properties to reduce pain and improve joint function. It uses a specially concentrated dosage of platelets prepared from your own blood to repair damaged cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscle and bone. Treatment is administered via an injection and depending on the injury two to six injections may be required, performed at weekly intervals. Patients usually see their symptoms improve within four to six weeks of having the injections. PRP is a safe treatment option which, because your own blood is used, carries no risk of allergic reaction. Read more clinical evidence supporting PRP here

Read Eddie’s Story. The British former professional strongman and World’s Strongest Man 2017 winner Eddie Hall recently received PRP Therapy.


Monocytes Treatment

This treatment involves a selective filtration of your blood which harnesses Monocytes and their reparative properties for sporting injury and soft tissue damage. 

In the degenerated tendons, Monocytes contribute to the repair of the damage by promoting the release of enzymes that help remove the damaged parts and consequently help the formation of a new matrix to promote the healing of the tendon. They perform a similar function in muscle injuries and promote the repair of damaged muscle fibres as a result of injury. There is some evidence to show these cells reduce inflammation in joints and have a beneficial effect in inflammatory forms of arthritis. Read more.

Are you at risk?

Most people at risk of the injury tend to be office or manual workers and it is usually due to the overuse syndrome caused by repeated forceful wrist and finger movements resulting in excessive use of the forearm extensors (for tennis elbow) or the forearm flexors (for golfers elbow). Playing racket sports or golf does increase your risk, although the condition is often a result of prolonged rapid activities like playing the piano or typing.

We do know that smoking, high body mass index (BMI), certain medications, genetics and poor diabetic control play an important role in the presentation of lateral and medial epicondylar tendinopathy. 

  • 15% of people are likely to experience tennis or golfers elbow
  • men and women between the ages of 30 and 50 are more at risk
  • it can last for over two years and it can often reoccur

How do we diagnose tennis or golfers elbow?


Our experienced clinicians are able to diagnose tennis and golfers elbow by taking an accurate medical history (talking to the patient) and carrying out an examination. Patients who visit us for tennis elbow predominantly complain of pain on the outside of the elbow, while those with golfers elbow complain of pain on the inside of the elbow. These areas are often quite tender to touch on examination. There are certain tests that can confirm the diagnosis; for example gripping can be quite painful for the patient. Additionally, resistive extension of the wrist (Cozen’s test) as well as resistive extension of the middle finger (Maudsley’s test) can be quite symptomatic of tennis elbow.

Are X-rays required?

The use of X-rays and other imaging techniques like ultrasound and MRI scans are often not necessary to confirm the diagnosis however, they can be helpful in ruling out other conditions that can occur at the same time (e.g. ligament injuries). Imaging is also useful to confirm the extent of the injury to the tendons.

Discounting tendinosis

Tennis and golfers elbow are sometimes mistakenly referred to as lateral and medial epicondylitis, which is inaccurate, as this assumes inflammation in the area. Inflammatory conditions should be diagnosed as tendinosis. Tendinosis is when increased stress to the tendon from regular or recreational activities leads to a break down of the collagen within the tendons. This results in microscopic tears which if left untreated could develop into partial or full thickness tears. Therefore, both tennis and golfer’s elbow should be called lateral or medial epicondylar tendinopathy not lateral or medial epicondylitis.

Treatment of tennis and golfers elbow

Rest, medication and supports

​As tennis and golfers elbow are injuries to the tendons of the elbow, the treatment involves allowing this injury to heal naturally. In most cases, the purpose of the treatment is to control the pain and simultaneously improve grip strength and endurance, so patients can return to their normal activities. In order to do so, a temporary activity modification as well as anti-inflammatory pain killers (NSAIDs) can be enough to allow some relief during the healing process. Some patients also find it useful to use external support, such as tennis elbow clasps or taping to help reduce the symptoms.


Our clinicians strongly recommend that most patients do some form of physiotherapy. This can be self-directed (i.e. you do it yourself) or if the symptoms last for a few weeks it is best to seek out formal physiotherapy. There are some typical exercises that work to promote healing and improvement in symptoms for tennis and golfers elbow.

Pain-relieving Injections

Injections can help with symptoms of tennis/golfers elbow. Injections of local anaesthetic (or local anaesthetic patches) can temporarily help relieve the symptoms.

Steroid injections are not recommended as they have been used too often in the past and there is overwhelming evidence that suggest that they cause significantly more harm than good. In the short term, steroids can reduce the inflammation and pain, however, they don’t aid in the healing process and can further degenerate the tendon leading to long term complications and the prolongation of symptoms

Minimally-invasive regenerative treatments

The use of biologics including Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) or Plasma Rich in Growth Factors (PRGF), are a very effective way of treating tennis elbow when physiotherapy and rehabilitation has failed.

PRP/PRGF concentrates growth factors from your blood and injecting them in the area affected by tennis or golfers elbow helps the healing process. There is overwhelming evidence, supported by randomised control trials, that proves PRP/PRFG is a more effective way of treating tennis and golfers elbow as opposed to the use of steroid injections..

Our Regenerative Clinic treatments effective in treating these conditions, include:


If your symptoms have lasted for more than 6 weeks then it’s important for you to seek medical advice, in order to confirm diagnosis and ensure the treatment thus far has been appropriate. Surgery is almost never required for tennis elbow. It is often done to treat for other problems around the elbow, including ligament injuries which can sometimes mimic symptoms of tennis/golfers elbow.

PRP Therapy

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, also known as autologous conditioned plasma, takes advantage of the blood’s natural healing properties to repair damaged cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscle and bone. It can reduce pain, improve joint function and helps you quickly return to normal activities. PRP supports your body’s self-healing processes by using your own cells. Blood is mostly liquid (called plasma) but also contains solid component including red cells, white cells and platelets. The platelets are important for clotting blood but they also contain proteins called growth factors which are important in the healing of injuries. With a higher concentration of growth factors than typically found in blood, PRP injections support the restoration of injured tissue and inhibit painful inflammatory processes. This treatment is widely researched and supported in clinical papers. See our PRP evidence section.

Find out more about tennis elbow

Watch Mr. Ali Noorani our upper limb surgeon discuss the benefits of using injections for treatment of tennis elbow.

“PRP has become an increasingly popular treatment option for professional athletes as well as those who have strained their outer elbow tendons”.

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