Physical Therapy Options for Tennis Elbow Pain

At Release Physical Therapy, our seasoned therapists perform comprehensive assessments to pinpoint the root causes of your tennis elbow pain problems. We then design individualized treatment plans aimed at promoting healing and relieving your specific issues.

Physical Therapy Options for Tennis Elbow Pain

At Release Physical Therapy, our seasoned therapists perform comprehensive assessments to pinpoint the root causes of your tennis elbow pain problems. We then design individualized treatment plans aimed at promoting healing and relieving your specific issues.

We'll help you get back to work, back in the game, and back to doing the activities you love.

Best Physical Therapy for Tennis Elbow in Washington, D.C.

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow, medically known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition characterized by swelling and inflammation in the tendons of your elbow. Tendons are what connect muscle to bone and can become painfully inflamed when subjected to stress or overuse, which causes micro-tears and damage to the tendon’s tissue. Tennis elbow pain is often felt as an aching or burning pain along the outside of the elbow and forearm that, in severe cases, can extend all the way toward the wrist. Other symptoms include weak grip strength, pain when lifting even very light objects, and inability to raise your hand against resistance without pain.


What causes Tennis Elbow?

Despite its name, tennis elbow is not exclusively caused by playing tennis. The reason tennis players often suffer from tennis elbow is that this type of injury is common in anyone who engages in an activity with repeated movement in the area. This could include hobbies such as playing pickleball, cooking, working out, or gardening. The condition also often afflicts people in careers requiring similarly repetitive movements such as dentists, carpenters, massage therapists, or even professionals who work at home or at their computers for extended periods of time.

Tennis elbow developing from these repetitive activities can often be attributed to improper form or weakness in the surrounding muscle groups (such as wrist and shoulder). At your intake session at Release, we conduct a full assessment of your strength, stability, and range of motion to identify the root cause of the dynamic causing you pain so that our therapies not only relieve your pain but prevent future relapse and reinjury.

Can physical therapy help with Tennis Elbow?

Of course! Physical therapy for tennis elbow can help accelerate the healing process and provide exercises to prevent further injury and assist with pain management. Tendons, which are the driver of tennis elbow pain, do not naturally receive as much blood as other tissues in the body and heal quite slowly as a result. Improving blood flow to damaged tendons allows nutrients essential to healing to be delivered to the tissue and thus accelerates the healing process. Therapeutic medical massage is the most common way to promote blood flow to the injured area, but for many patients, an additional technique is needed for addressing chronic pain from tennis elbow and accelerating their healing and recovery process. Release Physical Therapy is unique in the Washington, D.C. area for our wide selection of evidence-based specialized treatments such as shockwave therapy, dry needling, laser therapy, and Graston technique manual therapy.

All of our therapies are targeted to assist the body in repairing itself at different stages of the healing process. Shockwave therapy for tennis elbow stimulates blood flow to the damaged tendon, while laser therapy for tennis elbow increases the bioavailability of nutrients in the blood to the damaged tissue while also providing pain relief and swelling reduction. Dry needling for tennis elbow can ease tension in the surrounding muscle groups which can often be drivers of pain for patients suffering from tennis elbow.


What is the single best exercise for Tennis Elbow?

Every body and every injury is different, so it is tricky to recommend a single best exercise for tennis elbow. Different exercises have different goals as well: are you looking to strengthen stabilizing muscles? Ease tension in seizing muscles? Every patient has a different reason for their injury, which is why at Release PT we work with patients one-on-one for the entire session to better target out therapies to address their specific needs.

That being said, no matter what the nature of your injury is, maintaining movement and strength in the area is key to recovery and pain relief for tennis elbow. Release PT recommends wrist extension holds to encourage gentle movement in your elbow muscles and tendons. You can perform this exercise by placing your forearm on a table, palm facing down. Then, make a gentle fist and raise your wrist so that it is in line with your forearm. Hold for a few seconds, and relax.


What is the best therapy for Tennis Elbow?

The best therapy for tennis elbow is physical therapy guided by a team of seasoned professionals such as our staff. Release PT therapists, trained in multiple therapeutic techniques, will assess you to determine the root cause of your injury, which could be as simple as improper form in pickleball or tennis or as complex as thoracic spine or shoulder issues. While we address the underlying dynamics that led to your injury through strength training, we provide unparalleled pain relief services as well as state-of-the-art therapies such as laser therapy and shockwave therapy for tennis elbow to facilitate faster healing of the damaged tendons in your elbow and forearm that are driving your pain.

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Whether you’re an athlete that plays hard on the field, or a weekend warrior that plays hard in life, committing to a physical therapy program can help to keep you moving forward.
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Is squeezing a ball good for tennis elbow?

Yes! Release PT recommends squeezing a ball for tennis elbow, as it can help improve your grip strength and strength in the muscles of your forearm.


What Not to Do With Tennis Elbow

To avoid aggravating your tennis elbow, Release PT recommends avoiding the movement that caused your injury as well as any repetitive movements that place strain on the area. Such examples include painting, slicing food, using tools, or playing sports with repetitive movements such as pickleball, golf, or tennis.


Does tennis elbow ever go away?

Yes! The majority of patients suffering from tennis elbow see a full recovery within a year. However, that is most likely not a comforting statistic as waiting a year for your pain to go away and to be able to resume all activities is not an attractive prospect for most. At Release PT, we combine therapeutic technologies at the forefront of the industry with traditional massage therapy techniques to expedite your recovery and get you pain-free faster than just exercises could do. We provide online booking services for you to conveniently schedule an intake, where we can quickly dive into your treatment after a comprehensive assessment.


Should you keep your arm bent or straight with tennis elbow?

Neither! To avoid applying excessive force on your aggravated tendon, Release PT recommends not fully flexing or bending your arm. Instead, try to maintain a neutral alignment of your arm.


How do you get instant relief from tennis elbow?

The cause of the pain from tennis elbow is inflammation, so you can manage your pain as you wait for your physical therapy sessions by applying ice and taking NSAIDs and pain relievers such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen. We also recommend you provide ample time for your body to recover by resting the injured area and avoiding repetitive activities involving your elbow.

No matter the nature of your injury, Release PT can provide high-quality physical therapy for tennis elbow and get you on the road to a speedy recovery. Please feel free to reach out with any inquiries or schedule an intake with us.

We'll help you get back to work, back in the game, and back to doing the activities you love.

Release Physical Therapy


At Release Physical Therapy Washington, DC, we offer a full range of manual therapies, as well as both traditional and non-traditional techniques. We work one-on-one with our patients to develop an individualized treatment plan that meets their unique needs, conditions, wellness goals and fitness levels. Learn More

Active Release Technique ® (ART)

Massage and movement-based technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves.

K-Laser ® Therapy

The use of specific wavelengths of light to improve healing time, pain reduction, increase circulation and decrease swelling.

Trigger Point Dry Needling

Needle treatment that decreases pain, increases range of motion and improves strength by inactivating myofascial trigger points.

ASTYM ® Therapy

Regenerates healthy soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.), and eliminates or reduces unwanted scar tissue that may be causing pain or movement restrictions.

Kineseo ® Taping Method

Taping technique that reduces muscular pain and inflammation, relaxes overused muscles, improves posture and movement awareness and enhances performance.

Running Assessment

Individualized biomechanical analysis designed to identify strength, gait, and alignment imbalances to decrease risk of injury and improve your current training program.

Functional Training

Exercise regimens that integrate multiple muscle groups, joints and the brain to prepare the body for everyday movement, athletics and other specialized physical activities.

Graston Technique ®

Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization used to address soft tissue lesions and fascial restrictions resulting in improved patient outcomes.

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR)

Rehabilitation therapy and performance training technique using a Personalized Tourniquet System® designed for BFR, to reduce atrophy and increase strength.

Shockwave Therapy

A non-invasive, office based treatment that utilizes acoustic waves to alleviate pain, promote tissue regeneration, and accelerate the healing process.

Massage Therapy

Manual manipulation of the soft tissues including muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints to relieve pain, improve circulation, and address specific musculoskeletal conditions.

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Physical Therapists

Our experienced and highly trained physical therapists specialize in treating the outpatient orthopedic population, including sports therapy, orthopedic/spinal therapy, chronic pain management, pre/post-surgical therapy, as well as wellness and prevention. All of our physical therapist are accepting new patients.

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What Patients Are Saying

What Patients Say

"Dr. Simon's knowledge, expertise and patience have given me my life back. She spent more time discussing my injuries and recovery than both my doctor and an orthopedist." - L.J.

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Health & Safety


At Release Physical Therapy, there is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our patients and staff during this unprecedented time. The Department of Homeland Security and state governments have deemed physical therapy an essential component of healthcare during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; therefore, our office will remain open to serve those in need. We are taking extensive preventative measures to protect our patients and employees who enter our clinic. Learn more

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Location & Hours

Hours of Operation

Monday-Thursday: 6am - 8pm
Friday: 6am - 5pm
Saturday: By appointment
Sunday: Office closed

Office Address

Release Physical Therapy
2134 L St NW, Washington, DC 20037

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Our Physical Therapists

Our experienced and highly trained physical therapists specialize in treating the outpatient orthopedic population, including sports therapy, orthopedic/spinal therapy, chronic pain management, pre/post-surgical therapy, as well as wellness and prevention. All of our physical therapists are accepting new patients.