how long does tennis elbow take to heal if you’ve had it awhile you may already be wondering what the heck has taken so long it’s really confusing you hear about some tennis elbow injuries that people seem to recover from in just weeks while the others dragged on month after month why is that this is Alan will lap from tennis humble classroom and this is one of the most common questions I’m asked by patients in my office and by my student members online let’s take a quick look at some of the top mainstream medical sites to see if they have a definitive answer WebMD says the injury takes six to twelve months to heal and the patience helps really just be patient Cigna a big HMO also says six to twelve months but in some cases two years or longer yikes here’s a patient information sheet linked to from the British Medical Journal blog saying that it takes one to three months while recurrences are common well one to three months sounds a lot faster but if it’s so often recurs you know must must not be healing the first place right and finally we have the National Health Services in the UK who say that tennis elbow is a self-limiting condition that often gets better all by itself apparently without treatment but can persist for a year Wow does over over a year sound self-limiting to you what you’re supposed to just wait a year and see if it goes away what if it hasn’t how much patience are you expected to have when you can’t lift the jug of milk open a jar turn a doorknob or even brush your teeth without pain for months on end so clearly there’s a wide range of answers to this simple question how long it takes to recover from tennis elbow even from authoritative medical sites which claim one two three months on the low end to two plus years on the high end well one obvious reason for this disparity is because the injury varies a great deal from case to case another is that choice of treatment also varies a lot from person to person and we also have to keep in mind that our healing capacity slows as we age and that can make quite a difference component the healing of 20 year old to a 50 or 60 year old but none of that really gets to the heart of the matter the bottom line is tennis elbow is a tendon injury and tendons heal slowly and unpredictably by their very nature I know it’s really challenging to face this fact when you’re in chronic pain but that’s the simple truth I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you healing a tendon is nothing like healing muscle skin or bone all of which have rich blood supplies and that means faster healing abilities surprisingly a broken bone properly set in cast usually heals at a predictable steady rate and naturally we want to believe tendons heel like that too but tendons very often don’t heal steadily if they’re not treated properly they often don’t heal at all or at least not completely that’s not to say you can’t recover though the good news is if your tennis elbow is in its earliest stage it’s often fairly easy to break the cycle in this best case scenario it can take as little as a few weeks to reverse it recover and be pain-free again that’s if you catch it early though you treat it the right way because at its earliest stage it’s often nothing more than a combination of muscle tension and weakness so there’s no real injury yet and there’s really no little to no damage to repair this is a line you really don’t want to cross if you can help it though because once that vicious injury cycle starts snowballing downhill and you have real damage to your tendons it’s likely going to take some effort to turn around and realistically it can take a few months now here’s the most important thing to keep in mind especially if you already have a full-blown injury just because time is passing does not mean that tendon healing is happening even if you have completely stopped the activity that caused your tennis elbow the bad news is there’s no statute of limitations on how long it can take to heal that’s that’s the tricky part because once tendon damage occurs there’s no guarantee any healing will happen at all while you’re resting hoping and waiting and that’s why this average or typical recovery time guests is all over the map and practically meaningless and that’s why just resting and taking this let’s just wait and see approach it’s not a sensible strategy now of course you still want to know how long it’s going to take to heal your a cell ball and I hope for your sake that it’s sooner rather than later but since it’s so hard to predict even for medical doctors with MRI scans and other tools at their disposal may I suggest a different focus instead that is to make sure you fully understand the true nature of your tennis elbow and that you’re making the right treatment choices because there’s more to it than it seems and unfortunately there are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there and too many people are still getting caught in what I call the tennis elbow triple trap then finding out only much later how many mistakes were made and how much time was wasted suffering needlessly well I’d like to help you avoid that if possible and in that spirit I have many more articles videos and podcasts for you about what tennis elbow is what causes it the right and the wrong ways to treat it and how to treat it yourself learn more at tennis elbow classroom calm you you

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Dennis Veasley

100 thoughts on “Tennis Elbow Healing: What’s Taking So Long?”

  1. Wow thanks. I have had mine for the last three months. Not as bad as it use to be but pain still there trying not to use wrists to much  in doing things

  2. Hi I have tennis elbow for over ten years. There was a time in my life back when i was 23-25 that i could not afford a physio three days a week. I had to quite my job etc etc. I left it un treated for over 8 years before seeing a physio…..I started a treatment doing muscle massage, muscle weights and stretches…it became to pained more so than usual and gave up again trying. I re visited a physio again about 2 yrs ago and had the same thing happen…gave up. But i'm at the point where it's enough, no more giving up, dont be lazy, i lost my job because it was becoming more of a problem and now im jobless because of it. So i stated seeing a different doc, physio and its been over two months, ive stayed on the treatment program and i cant express it enough, im slowly getting better 😀 i started on light weights and now im on 3kg's and getting stronger 😀 I still have moments where it hurts for no reason or it aches…..or for eg. the physio said come back in two weeks, thought i was progressing, the following week after, my arm had gotten sore again, and the physio has now got me going back weekly.. i think my arm feels better with weekly massage and the nightly massage my partner does for me too. Is there anything else i could be doing? I do weights up and down, twisting from side to side and the up down reverse palm up, and the basic stretches most people say to do for tennis elbow…thanks for reading.

  3. DO TELL , is it the tendon or the tendon sheath not happy with adhestions (holes & scars in the sheath)  causing pain where the tendon tears at the bone Why sneak up on something like this when you know you could really help in the same video?

  4. Wasted my time. Five minutes of pointless chatter only to be redirected to his site at the end of the video where (surprise) he asks for money to reveal his "magical treatment".

  5. This is the "I'm talking to my dog" photo angle.

    Next time, try a video angle that is at "people height" so you're talking "to" someone instead of "down to"

  6. Simple injury to fix.  Doesn't matter who you go to, Massage therapist, Physical therapist or chiropractor!  Ultrasound therapy does wonders along with cold laser therapy.  manual therapy like pin and stretch (Active release technique), Graston Technique, and deep tissue/ sport massage does the job.  Of course do the RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation)  if it's a fresh injury.  If you have a chronic or recurrent condition try platelet therapy which is very effective.  Stay away from steroid ( Cortisone) shots which has lots of bad side effects including weakening of your tendons and ligament which could ultimately cause full rupture.  And lastly, the tennis elbow bracelet works a little bit.  Good luck  

  7. great advice about not just resting it and expecting it to heal, I wish I hadn't listed to that crap when I first started getting golfers elbow from weightlifting!!!

    I stayed out of the gym completely hoping it would heal, it stopped bothering me within a few months but it would flare up again pretty much any time I would use my arms with 100% effort (I mostly only noticed that when I was working on my car and encountered a bolt that was really stuck), and then for a week or more after causing a flair-up my elbows would hurt from basically anything that involved using my hands, even holding small objects. well now it's been almost 5 years since I quit working out and the golfers elbow still flairs up occasionally and stops me from doing anything too strenuous! Now I've been trying to find an actual solution that works, cuz resting it obviously doesn't, and I've recently found out about the theraband flexbars so I ordered a red, green, and blue version and hopefully those will work for me

  8. Great video. Subscribed. I am a personal trainer. 5 weeks ago I injured my right elbow extensor tendon. MRI showed a couple micro tears but not nearly enough to warrant surgery. For the first few weeks I just rested it and avoided using the arm as much as possible. As (some) of the pain started to subside I started stretches. Now I have purchased a theraband flexbar (the green one – medium). I have just started the exercises today. I'm chomping at the bit to get in the gym and rebuild but your advice has helped put things in perspective. Patience and rehab exercises performed correctly. Thank you for a completely honest dialog on this subject. Sugar coating with injuries doesn't physically help anyone. 

  9. Hi Allen
    Its been nearly three months since i stopped playing tennis. I gave long breaks(as i found your videos recently) several times during this period. I played whenever i felt my elbow was alright but ended up damaging it again . Each time it got damaged , it took longer time to recover. I feel alright now but I am scared that it might come again. I want to know whether there are any ways to check that the tennis elbow has completely healed.
    Thanks

  10. I read that some anabolic steroids like Decadurabolin, Primobolan, Parabolan, Equipoise, and some others are good for tendon repair and bone density and etc. It seems they speed up keratin and collagen synthesis or whatever.

  11. hi i work as a produce stocker. constantly lifting 20lb to 60lb crates and potato bags all day. being a stocker, a lot of single arm back and forth side to side motion. im dominant right hand but i stock left handed cuz it feels comfortable. i wear a tennis elbow "ace" support strap which helps but doesn't completely take away the pain. 
    i also lift weights strength and olympic lifting. im sad if i have to cut back deeply for 6 months for im afraid of losing my progress. also if i switch to only my right arm for stocking  will that help? yes for rest left arm BUT whats to say i get healed but gain tennis elbow in my right arm? then im going back and forth forever.

    im very late to say in the injury. ever since i pulled my forearm its not been good, even that took a year to heal on its own. when i wake up in the morning my elbow is on fire and it takes awhile to get loosened up for the day. What do i do?

  12. Can you please recommend me what to do : I have wrist tendonitis and tennis elbow… I have pain for about 2 years, but this last year it has increased up to my shoulder. I am a tennis player and I am living the nightmare right now, because I can't do nothing, not even work at a computer.. and I fear that I won't be able to play tennis again… I've tried almost everything, from physiotherapy to osteopahty, but no change at all… only got worse. Which exercices would you recommend me to do?? Where should I start?? Thank you so much

  13. i have been able to minimize pain, buy using coconut oil. cooled coconut oil helps numb the pain a bit. but it takes a while to recover from it. I apply the oil cool from the fridge. then let it melt an give it an hour to soak in to the skin. Make sure to see if your allergic to the oil first. only put a dab on the skin, if it burns see a doctor for that. Im not a doctor, just some dude. Please remember that. once the oil is set in, just relax for a few days. I use it only when it hurts, and a few hours before bed.i got it so i didnt feel any pain from it at all, in just a few days. 3-5. But i made the mistake of over extending again, and reinjured. So if the pain is gone, becareful still.It doesn't mean the tendon is healed, just not inflamed. Once the oil has set in, I use a tensor bandage to let me know not to use that arm for at least 2 weeks. i'll see then if theres any more damage, by doing the stretch excersise. Then after three weeks ill try the hammer twisting excersise. that should say if i can handle it or more rest. Lets see if i can get it down to three weeks? And for those out there in pain, good luck on your healing. just typing on the keyboard can be painful. this is another good indicator that there's still inflammation of the tendon.

  14. Hi, I've had tennis elbow now for about 15 months, always worsened by such gardening activities as strimming, hedge trimming, chain saw and shredding. Letting the garden get out of hand isn't a fair option though. Haven't had any benefit from exercise programmes, unfortunately. Any further suggestions?

  15. I have it for about 4 weeks. I work in a grocery store and got it from pulling very heavy carts and stocking shelves. Very repetitive movements. Def. check out your videos.

  16. i have had this condition in my right elbow for the past 5 years and have had cortisone twice which proved quite effective the second time. its just a minor twinge now and again kind of gotten use to it and hardly notice. problem i have now is my left elbow has started i drive a bit 19000 miles in last 11 weeks in UK so my gears arm , any suggestions on how i minimize irritation.

  17. Hey Allen it's Lane. Elbows are still holding strong and I'm back to all previous activities,.. Lifting Weights, Archery etc. Thanks again for all your help AND encouragement! Hope your taking some time off to play , hike , and enjoy a nice craft ale from time to time!

  18. Yup just go see the doc, been waiting 5 months to heal and it still bothers me when I pick up some thing sort of heavy. Maybe surgery is needed you never now I might need it.

  19. well ONE ortho told me I have tennis elbow another says it's a PLICA which I am more inclined to believe as it locks, snaps, pain getting worse and very limited movement. had the same issue on my left knee and right wrist.

  20. I've been having trouble with tennis elbow for over twelve months now, no sign of recovery infact it's just getting worse. I always have my arm bent because it's too painful to extend.

  21. I'm in the UK – patience doesn't cost the NHS. 7 months on and I'm still whinging about the chronic, intense pain.

  22. Anyone have any experience with a connection between dupoitrens contracture and tennis elbow? Ive had tennis elbow for close to 2.5 years and my contracture started first, probably 5 years. I have had two cortisone shots in the last 18 months after physical thearpy the tennis elbow is persistent. Now trying active release, 6 weeks, with a chiropractor but doesnt seem to be responding. Is the dupointrens the cause of the tennis elbow in my case and treatment a waste of time?

  23. lateral epicondylitis has hindered my life for coming up on three years….and I have tried every Kind of treatment and elbow brace imaginable…chiro, massage, graston technique, blood patch, injections and even pain pills! I use to work out quite often and I do swing a hammer for a living. I'm thinking surgery might be the only answer….

  24. Gotta love being 18 and then bam! OH YAY TENNIS ELBOW!!!! And I can't find any help THAT DOESN'T COST MONEY.

  25. Had it 15 months and not improved. I work doing road surfacing and do a lot of lifting and shoveling.

  26. Thanks for the vid. I'll check out your site. Have many things going on in my right arm. Tennis Elbow, Golfers Elbow, Ulnar nerve damage & Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Doc told me to wear the elbow strap by day, but I can feel the nerve sensations rush through my wrist. So at night, I sleep with the carpal tunnel brace & a full elbow brace instead. Going to check out physical therapy for these issues as well.

  27. my elbow is killing me must have happened in the gym and its bedn 2 weeks and I'm still working out it really only hurts when elbow is fully extended ahhb this sucks a guessing game,at this point

  28. ive just been told i have this i work in child care and the constant lifting kids up and down for nappy changes has stuffed my left arm up it hurts so bad

  29. With being a plasterer I struggle with tennis elbow in my spreading arm due to movements and forces involved. I've suffered for about 3 months with varying degree of pain and discomfort. Due to other medication that I'm on it's hard to take suitable pain killers or ant inflamatories.
    I'd love to find an actual cure and prevention methods.

  30. Armchair critic here. What you said in this video is true. But why couldn't you just finish the video by discussing the eccentric loading programme? It is the treatment plan with the best evidence base to support it, although the optimal sets/reps and resistance is debatable. Failing that, an injection containing plasma rich in growth factors and mesenchymal stem cells is showing great promise.

  31. Doing water/steam/heat baths helped me alot!! And healed me after 7 weeks of this constant problem whilst doing combat sports. You get the injured area (golfers or tennis elbow) really red and hot/warm by high heat (done by doing steam baths or hot water baths) which brings in the blood to the area of problem which in its turn heals the ligament. Thats the problem with tennis elbow is that there is little blood circulation in the injured ligament. So all I did is I boiled water and put it in a small tub and put my elbow in it and covered the hand on top with towels. It got hot inside, the elbow was reddish and felt way better after a couple of days already! I did it 2+ times a day. Thats why even muscle tears heal quicker because there is blood travelling quicker through muscle, unlike ligaments. Just trying to help out and give an idea of what helped me, maybe it will help somebody else aswell 🙂

  32. Wow this video gave me cancer. Thanks for wasting my time and hot helping me at ALL. I will not be going to your website.

  33. Im not gonna lie, I got tennis elbow from tapping too fast on my psp console, theres a special technique where you tighten your arm very strongly and you can tap with your fingers very fast.
    Always felt huge strain in my elbow when I did that, then when I stopped tapping I noticed I got tennis elbow…
    Its a worse tennis elbow than when I hit a tennis serve with everything I had.

  34. Am a baseball player. It just hurt when I touched it. Never to lift or throwing but, My hand is little weak but getting better. Is it really worth it to go to a doctor? Or should I? Am 13

  35. Had extensor tendon repair of elbow 3 week ago. I am in therapy now. My elbow has considerable amount of pain still when stretching and rom. movements. How much pain should experience 3 weeks post op? thanks

  36. omg u listed all the things I can't do. teeth brushed painful and open jar. lift milk. been three weeks so far. it's my left elbow bad of course. left handed. sucks. I feel helpless.

  37. Every time I try to get some help from the internet, as doctors don't help at all with my tennis elbow, I always find a new person trying to make money from desperate people, suffering from severe pain because of tennis elbow. It's been 2 years and I took already 2 steroid injections, the skin around the elbow is so damaged and the pain came back stronger than ever. I can't workout, I feel pain all the time all over my elbow, forearm and wrist even when I move my fingers. It's really a shame to take profit from people that are struggling.

  38. thank you. The first time I had tendonitis, it took eight years for it to fully heal, and that was with my doing the icing, stretches, exercises, etc that my chiropracter had given me, who also had given me treatments.
    This time, I've been suffering with it now for about 7 months, trying to be diligent with treatment, but I do still do exercises and no small amount of physical activity, but I just can't see making my husband do everything that I normally do.

  39. I still hit the gym but the things that hurt it the most are the twisting motions like curls. Lifting a full coffee mug to my face also hurts. This injury is ridiculous

  40. It's all blah blah blah, wasting people's time. I wonder if your 'husband' ever complain about you nagging at home all the time?

  41. I've watched many of your videos and learned a lot. I'm applying your advice by not using anti-inflammatories, not using ice, not immobilizing my elbow, but rather I am heating the area and massaging the elbow, and I am actually improving. I was wondering why I wasn't healing!! It's because doctors have that s.i.c.k. approach! Thanks Allan!

  42. mine healed in 2 weeks (ice rest ibuprofen and cortisone shot). I should consider myself blessed then

  43. Sorry but why did mine take 3 weeks to fully heal? Was that because my tendon was not damaged? Is it the main difference here between those recovering in a few days/weeks VS those recovering in months/years?

  44. Thanks for the video. I also had a tennis elbow. I was pain free after approximately 2 months. Fish oil, vitamin C, full rest (no more upper body exercises), ice, arm brace, anti-inflammatory, cortisone shot is what it took me to get over it. Not sure what exactly fixed it but I'm thankful it is gone as this injury was such a nightmare. Lesson learned, I take care of my elbows and spend proper time to warm-up and stretch. Best of luck.

  45. okay its a little talk about how long to cure tennis elbow, one amazing product i found to cure tennis elbow quickly was Panlarko Tennis Elbow Planner, its very helpful and is a quick cure. search it on google for more information.

  46. Thanks for the video Allen. I have dealt with this shitty injury on both elbow for almost six months. It took 6 long months before I could get rid of it. I've been resting it during all this time but consistently performed eccentric exercises (3 times per day) and manual therapy to recruit blood flow and break up scar tissue (once per week). I'm relieved that I could get rid of it but this was quite a journey!

  47. I've had it for over 6 months. Early this summer, I started eat red cherries. Believe it or not, huge relieve happened.

  48. sir please tell me what to do I have pain in my elbow region I am a professional cricketer what should I do doctor are saying don't do that activity but I can't do what to do please tell me sir

  49. Thank you for this video –
    Please, I need help _ How to find the right exercise to restrengthen my right ankle after a stroke? I was giving an electric power chair told I would never walk…. well, I Am walking yet, I must make my ankle stronger – The therapist I had have all failed in their teaching methods –
    All the best – Thanks for the assist –
    ThickVein –

  50. I have a partial tendon tear. Will that heal on its own. I have 8 months, 2 prp shots, 1 steroid. 4 weeks of therapy and work conditioning. Better but still have pain and soreness.

  51. first time I got it was in both elbows in 2011.. it took 5 YEARS to go completely. And bugger me, now May 2019 its come back with a vengeance in the left elbow, its now not got any better since it flared up on May 4th, thats 7 weeks of resting it, rubbing it, stretching it, hot and cold treatment, rubbing in ibuprofen gel to the point it upsets my stomach ulcer !! fed up with it now.

  52. He is right. While I haven't watched the program he sells, it is probably worth it. I had Tennis elbow for 2 years, 2 different PTs, numerous Cortisone injections, braces, and even acupuncture. What finally helped me was a personal ultrasound device (like for your facial wrinkles), a pain cream and the big thing was finding out that my point of injury was actually not between the 2 bones outside of my elbow where the pain seemed to be, but actually behind my elbow…I assume the attach point of my tricep. I ultra sounded this area and heavily massaged it to clear injury sludge out…and in slightly less than 2 weeks, my tennis elbow was gone. I would have phantom pain there for the first few days where I wasn't really sure if it hurt or it was my imagination (because it had hurt contiguously for so long). but nope, it was gone and that was 3 over years ago. I play golf and so far so good. i do know that if it comes back I will probably look into paying for this course and try to avoid hurting for so long.

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