Elbow Tendonitis Symptoms

Page content

Elbow tendonitis is also known as tennis elbow and golf elbow. It is caused by overuse of the elbow joint, and involves the medial and lateral epicondyles. The repetitive motions of tennis and golf are why this injury is also known by those names. It occurs quite often in avid tennis players and golfers.

One important distinction between tennis elbow and golf elbow is that the inside of the elbow is affected in golfer’s elbow, whereas the outside of the elbow is affected in tennis elbow.

The following are some of the most common elbow tendonitis symptoms.


The most common symptom is pain. The pain may come in any number of ways and may affect any number of areas along the entire arm. Pain from elbow tendinitis is commonly treated with NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Bracing the injury may also be recommended to help stabilize it and prevent further aggravation and pain.

Radiating Pain. Sometimes pain from tennis or golf elbow will radiate from the injured elbow downward into the wrist and forearm.

Pain from Movement. The pain associated with elbow tendinitis may be caused by certain movements such as wrist extension and flexion or when attempting to grip things such as hands in a handshake, doorknobs and coffee cups.


Weakness in the hand or forearm may be experienced from an elbow tendinitis injury. This weakness, when it occurs in the hand, can create difficulty in actions such as holding items.


Tenderness may be felt around the elbow, especially following movement. This tenderness may be accompanied by other symptoms such as pain, warmth or swelling.

Area Warmth

The affected area may feel warm to the touch. This is caused by inflammation, and could be aggravated by movement or failing to take prescribed NSAIDs or other anti-inflammatory medication.


Of all of the elbow tendonitis symptoms, this one may be one of the most common associated with any type of injury. Over time and with treatment, this symptom should disappear.

One commonly used treatment for this symptom is the application of ice. The use of NSAIDs may also be beneficial.


For many patients, this injury is primarily a sometimes-painful inconvenience that will heal in time. For a few, surgery may be required. Closely following the instructions provided by the treating physician offers the patient the best chance of a recovery that allows for a return to beloved activities, such as golf and tennis. The physician will likely also recommend steps for the patient to take in order to avoid a recurrence of the injury.


Tennis Elbow. Mayo Clinic Staff. October 25, 2008. https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tennis-elbow/DS00469

Health Encyclopedia – Diseases and Conditions. Tendinitis: Elbow Tendinitis. Updated April 1, 2009. https://www.healthscout.com/ency/68/128/main.html