Treat a tennis elbow /epicondylitis lateralis yourself:

Can you really treat a tennis elbow yourself?

The question is a valid one, especially given the number of people sufferering from it and the often disappointing results of their treatments.

Mostly this question can be answered with a yes. You can treat your epicondylitis yourself and usually very successfully.

All that you need is some rudimentary knowledge about this very widespread complaint.

This site is dedicated to the effective treatment a epicondylitis , which is what most of you are looking for. What’s most important to me is you are able to apply the given information.

1. Treating your tennis elbow

As soon as someone feels the pain in their outer elbow for the first time, they ask themselves or their doctor:

  • What now?
  • Which ointments help the best?
  • Are there any household remedies for tennis elbow?

Skipping ahead a little: Ointments often provide little or no lasting results and if so, they’re unsatisfactory; and miracle household remedies – simply don’t exist. At least none that I know of.

A tennis elbow and the pain it causes almost always arise from tensed muscles as well as trigger points.

The tension in the muscles is transferred to the corresponding tendons, which can become inflammed as a result.

A self-massage of the corresponding muscles is a effective treatment for dealing with the problem. It alleviates the muscle tension, can eliminate trigger points and simultaneously remove the surplus strain on the tendons.

Coming up is a description of the massage to be carried out on certain muscles and regions of the body likely to bring about tennis elbow pain.

You don’t even have to massage all of these areas most of the time.

Just concentrate only on the muscles and areas that are painful and sensitive to pressure. To find out which of these muscles are responsible for your pain, follow the next steps on this page.

2. Treating your tennis elbow: Description of the self-massage

Does self-massages work as therapy for tennis elbow?

You’ll be convinced when you try it. All that you need is a small massage ball, your hands and a little patience.

If time is an issue for you right now, then you might benefit from my eBook, which includes this page as well as all other articles published on this website.

The format is PDF, so you can read it on any device, whenever you want or need to.

2.1 Your tennis elbow treatment: Self-massage of the lower arm

Muscles: Brachioradialis, extensor carpi radialis longus, extensor digitorum, supinator

We will begin with the massage of the lower arm muscles, because this is the main problem area with a lateral epicondylitis.

The best massage tool for this area is a massage ball.

  • Place the ball on the outer side of your lower arm and press it against the wall.
  • Roll the ball slowly over your lower arm, applying pressure, while looking for painful areas. Examine the entire surface of the upper half of your forearm.
  • Massage every sensitive spot by rolling over it very slowly with the ball a maximum of 15 times.
  • Make sure to concentrate on only one spot at a time and work on it exclusively.
  • The adjacent picture will help you in your search for these painful areas.
  • It shows the areas most commonly affected by muscle tension in the outer side of the lower arm.

2.2 Your tennis elbow treatment: self-massage of the upper arm/elbow

Muscles: Anconeus, triceps brachii

Start with the triceps brachii. That is the muscle on the backside of your upper arm.

It often plays a decisive role in treating a epicondylitis.

When massaging these muscles, two areas are of primary interest to you; they will be described below.

We will begin with the massage of the central area of your triceps.

  • Lift your arm up somewhat and grasp the muscle in the middle of the backside of your upper arm like a pair of pliers.
  • Make sure that you are actually grasping the muscle and not just skin – and fatty tissue.
  • Now roll the muscle between your fingers and search for painful areas.
  • As soon as you find one, knead it a maximum of 15 times by rolling it back and forth between your fingers using the thumb-index finger technique.

On the outside and lower edge of your triceps, the massage ball comes back into play.

  • Place the ball on the side of your upper arm, just above your elbow.
  • Examine this area with the ball for areas that are sensitive to pressure.
  • Massage each of these areas a maximum of 15 times slow, rolling motions.
  • It’s best to carry out the massage strokes in the direction of the fibres of your muscle, i.e. up and down motions.

Let’s continue with the anconeus.

With this muscle, the preferred massage technique is the pressure-motion technique, which I recommend you to use.

  • First, touch the tip of your elbow with your index finger.
  • From this starting point, slide your finger approximately 1 to 2 centimetres inward.
  • Now, when you make a fist, tense your entire arm and straighten the elbow slightly, you can feel the anconeus under your finger.
  • To massage it, press into the muscle then straighten and bend your elbow a few times.

2.3 Your tennis elbow treatment: Self-massage of the shoulder

Muscle: Supraspinatus

Even though the supraspinatus is a muscle in the shoulder and doesn’t have a direct connection to your elbow, it can be the cause of pain that mimics a lateral epicondylitis.

Trigger points that develop in this muscle can irritate your nervous system and refer pain to the lateral epicondyle of the elbow, thus producing symptoms similar to those of a tennis elbow.

This is the reason why examining this muscle is a must.


Shape your hand like a shovel and place your fingers directly over the spine of your scapula.

Your spine of scapula is the prominent bone line that you can feel on your shoulder blade.


Use your fingers to apply pressure in this area and raise and lower your arm a few times.

When doing this motion, you should feel a muscle moving under your fingers. That is your supraspinatus.

Keep the massage in this area brief, since your fingers can quickly tire!

  • Massage it using the pressure-motion technique by applying pressure with your fingers and raising and lowering your arm approximately 10 – 15 times.
  • Only concentrate on the painful areas, because this is where the problems lie.
  • Feel free to experiment with the position of your fingers. A difference of one or two centimetres to the right, left, above or below can make all the difference.

As an alternative, you can also use the Trigger Fairy to massage the supraspinatus.

The advantage here is that your fingers won’t tire, which means you can massage yourself longer and without straining your hands.

Supraspinatus massage with the Trigger Fairy


Position the Trigger Fairy on the muscle.


To massage the supraspinatus, lift your arm repeatedly to the side.

3. Your self-evaluation

  • In which muscle and which area of your body did the self-massage help the most?
  • Where was the pain relieved by the self-massage and where not?
  • Which areas were most sensitive?

Always pay attention to how your body reacts to the massage and concentrate on the areas that deliver the best results.

I hope that the tennis elbow treatment described here helps alleviate your pain and that you will be free of it in the long run.

Although the techniques are very effective, don’t expect miracles. It’s going to take several weeks and a number of massages before your pain disappears for good.

Make sure you stay on the ball.

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