How to sleep with Tennis Elbow

How to sleep with Tennis Elbow Pain: 5 Tips for Sleeping- Best/Worst Positions

Tennis elbow hurts a lot, worsens over time, and may make it hard to sleep. It usually starts with pain that comes and goes, but over time it gets so bad that even simple things like brushing your teeth or holding your coffee cup may become challenging. It can also hurt when the arm is at rest or not moving, like when you are sleeping. And then the query comes to mind “how to sleep with tennis elbow”! Sleeping with tennis elbow is not a big thing. There have some positions to follow and some positions to avoid during sleeping with tennis elbow disease. Besides this, you may have to wear a brace for your elbow pain. In this content, you will know the best sleep positions for your tennis elbow pain and the worst sleep positions!

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow, also called lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition when the tendons in your elbow are overworked, usually from doing the same wrist and arm movements repeatedly.

Even though it’s called “tennis elbow,” it doesn’t just happen to tennis players. People like plumbers, painters, carpenters, and butchers do things that can lead to tennis elbow.

Tennis elbow hurts most where your forearm muscles’ tendons attach to a bony bump outside your elbow. You might also feel pain in your forearm and wrist.

Tennis elbow is often helped by rest and over-the-counter painkillers. If conservative treatments don’t work or your symptoms make it hard for you to do things, your doctor may suggest surgery.

Is tennis elbow painful at night?

When you have tennis elbow, you usually feel pain when doing the thing that caused the injury in the first place, such as weightlifting, gaming, playing a musical instrument, or biking.

But as the condition worsens, even simple things like drinking coffee, turning a doorknob, gardening, and shaking hands become painful.

Many people find that it hurts the most when they wake up. This is because muscles and tendons get stiff while we sleep when we aren’t moving much, and circulation is low.

This stiffening can worsen the pain when you wake up and move your arm. But pain at night when trying to sleep is also happened. How your arms and body are placed when you sleep can add stress and worsen the pain.

Sleeping on the hurt arm, putting your arms up over your head, rolling onto your forearm, or twisting it can make the injury worse.

How to sleep with tennis elbow?

If you have tennis elbow, it doesn’t have to be hard or painful to sleep if you follow the tips below:

Put the arm that hurts down

“Sleep position should be thought of as a possible aggravating factor that slows the healing of an acute injury and causes chronic pain,” says a study.

Tennis elbow can worsen if the arm that hurts is kept above the head.

Rest on your back

Sleeping on your back is the best thing to do. This doesn’t stress your elbows, so they get the rest they need.

When we sleep, our bodies heal, and taking pressure off the hurt arm can help this problem get better faster.

Use pillows to prop up your elbow

Even if you decide to sleep on the side of your body that doesn’t hurt, tennis elbow can still make it hard to sleep. One problem with this position is that the muscles in your upper arm can put pressure on your elbow, which can make the tendons in your elbow hurt more.

Also, you might twist your forearm while you sleep, which can pressure the injured tendons and make them hurt. Tennis elbow sufferers can avoid these problems by putting a pillow under the arm that hurts.

This can help relieve tension in the muscles of your upper arm and keep your forearm from twisting while you sleep.

Before going to sleep, warm up the hurt arm

Everyone knows that heat makes it painless and speeds up blood flow to the hurt area. In turn, this makes the muscles feel better.

You can get the heat from a hot water bag for 10 to 15 minutes.


A third thing that can help you sleep better if you have tennis elbow is a tennis elbow brace. These braces are made to be worn just below the elbow on the forearm, and they can help support the muscles in the forearm.

Doing this help reduce pressure on the injured elbow tendons, which can help ease the pain that’s keeping you up at night. These braces keep the forearm muscles from tightening all the way. If you tend to clench your fists at night, this can help your tennis elbow.

What is the best sleep position for tennis elbow?

Sleeping on your back with your arms” in the natural straight posture at your side is the best sleeping position for most persons with tennis elbows because this supine position reduces extra pressure on the elbow and allows for a more natural joint alignment for better comfort.

What are the positions to avoid when sleeping with tennis elbow?

You should avoid certain positions to sleep if you have pain in your elbow. Those are-

Sleeping on your injured elbow and arm

It is the worst sleeping position. It may seem apparent, but sleeping on your injured elbow and arm might squeeze your already irritated tendons at your elbow and worsen your suffering. This position may also reduce blood flow to the area, slowing your healing.

Sleeping with your affected elbow and arm above your head

Sleeping with your affected elbow and arm over your head can increase the probability of your elbow discomfort intensifying. Instead, consider resting your arm by your side or against your body to lessen the risk of aggravating your elbow injury.

Sleeping on your stomach

When you sleep on your stomach, your head is typically turned to one side, and your back is slightly extended or bent. This can cause compression and soreness in your neck and upper back over time, eventually affecting your elbow.

Tell me the best treatment for tennis elbow?

There is no one option to treat tennis elbow that works for everyone, but there are some standards of care that everyone agrees on. These things are:

  • Rest on your elbow, wrist, fingers, and arm as much as possible. If you keep doing the same things that hurt you without giving your body time to heal, you could hurt yourself even more.
  • Don’t hold things tightly with your affected arm. Move things you often use down from high places, and don’t lift heavy things while you’re getting better.
  • NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as naproxen, ibuprofen, or aspirin can help with the pain.
  • Put ice on your elbow a few times a day for about 15 minutes, waiting at least an hour between each time.
  • Use a heating pad on the hurt elbow for short periods.
  • Your doctor might suggest physical therapy, which consists of stretches and movements that help muscles heal over time.
  • Your doctor may consider giving you a corticosteroid shot into the forearm muscle. This steroid medicine can help relieve pain by reducing inflammation in your tendons for a short time.
  • Your doctor may give you a brace or tell you to wear one. Counterforce braces are often used to help people with tennis elbow, and they work by taking pressure off of muscles that have been strained.

Can pain medication help for tennis elbow?

NSAIDs like ibuprofen and painkillers like paracetamol may help relieve mild pain and inflammation caused by tennis elbow. NSAIDs come in the form of pills or creams and gels on the area of pain.

NSAIDs on the skin are often better than anti-inflammatory pills for musculoskeletal problems like tennis elbow.

This is because they can reduce swelling and pain without making people feel sick or giving them diarrhea.

Some NSAIDs can only be bought with a doctor’s note, and a doctor or pharmacist can help you find the right NSAID.

Is platelet-rich plasma good for tennis elbow?

If you have elbow tendinitis, traditional treatments may not work, and your doctor may suggest PRP therapy for better results. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been shown to speed up healing, and PRP injections have become one of the most common treatments for tennis elbow. With PRP therapy, damaged tissue is fixed by using the body’s way of healing.

In platelet-rich plasma, there are proteins called growth factors that help the elbow muscle heal and, in turn, make the pain disappear. A study found that people with tennis elbow who got PRP therapy got better by 71% in up to 24 weeks, while those in the control group only got better by 56%. Because PRP is made from the patient’s blood, it is less likely to cause side effects.

For lateral epicondylitis, PRP therapy is done with three injections. Compared to single or double injections, the results of three injections are better. Depending on how bad your tennis elbow is, you may need more injections.

Tennis elbow exercises

Here are some exercises for tennis elbow that you can try. The exercises may be recommended to treat a condition or to help someone get better. Slowly start each move. If you begin to feel pain, slow down on the exercises. You will be told when to start these exercises and which will help you the most.

  • Wrist flexor stretch
  • Wrist extensor stretch
  • Ball or sock squeeze
  • Wrist deviation
  • Wrist curls
  • Biceps curls

If you’ve ever experienced tennis elbow or are getting back from it, try these exercises to strengthen your forearm muscles and improve function. You can avoid this problem in the future by strengthening your muscles and avoiding doing the same things over and over.

Best tennis elbow brace for sleeping

The selection of quality elbow braces for elbow support is essential. Without a quality elbow brace, your elbow may not be supported perfectly. So it would be best if you were careful before buying an elbow brace. Here we have enlisted the best two elbow braces. But if you want to get a more extensive list before buying an elbow brace, then check this article!

Kunto Fitness Elbow Brace

Kunto Fitness is the best tennis elbow brace for sleeping. It has made a unique fabric blend that can stretch in four directions. This gives your elbows more protection and support than you’ve ever had before. They give you an elbow brace that may help ease your elbow problems, and the light, form-fitting, breathable fabric keeps you comfortable even after hours of use. With Kunto Fitness Elbow Compression Sleeve, you’ll be able to live the active life you deserve.


  • This elbow sleeve is made from high quality fabric
  • It is very well sewn/stitched
  • It is comfortable
  • Great Quality


  • If you have a larger arm, a little flabby, the top will roll and is uncomfortable.

Incrediwear Elbow Brace for Elbow Support

For those with elbow pain from tendinitis or joint dysfunction, this brace is supportive and helps relieve pain. They are thick, fuzzy, and supporting and don’t get smaller. The Incrediwear compression sleeve stops it immediately and makes my elbow feel warm.


  • This product is very durable
  • It offer’s great support
  • Easy to put on and remove


  • The size should measure carefully

Final Words

Doing the exercises recommended by the physiotherapy doctor, your pain should reduce over time. And also should prevent your elbow pain from being aggravated by following the sleeping positions. But if it doesn’t work, surgery may be recommended if the pain is severe and chronic. The injured tendon will be removed to eliminate the symptoms of your elbow pain.


Can you sleep with tennis elbow brace?

Many patients who have tennis elbow or suspect they have it are advised to wear a brace. Most doctors recommend you wear the brace for a few weeks to see if your condition improves. And your doctor may tell you to wear the brace during sleep. A tennis elbow sleeping brace may help to reduce your pain. If you don’t wear the brace, elbow pain after sleeping may happen. For that, you should sleep with tennis elbow brace. But, if your situation doesn’t improve within the time frame specified by your provider, you must go to a physician or physiotherapy doctor.

Should you wear tennis elbow brace overnight?

You should wear the elbow brace all day while doing your usual things. This is a good idea whenever you lift something, work out, do yard work, or go grocery shopping.

A tennis elbow brace can help you sleep better and feel better at night. The brace can make it easier for the injured tendons to move, and it relieves pain by stopping the muscles in the forearm from tightening.

This could be good for people who sleep with their hands in a fist. The brace might need to be worn for up to six weeks.

How Long Does Tennis Elbow Last?

Unfortunately, even doctors cannot predict how long one tennis elbow case will last compared to another. Mild cases, according to some, resolve in 6-8 weeks, whereas more severe cases can last for months. Therefore, tennis elbow that lasts more than 6-12 months and does not respond to physical therapy or rest may necessitate surgical intervention in some cases.


"Hasan", I am a physiotherapy Doctor. I have completed my B.S.c course (4 years) under Rajshahi University, Faculty of Medicine, Rajshahi. Currently I am working as a clinical physiotherapist at a renowned physiotherapy center and I am continuing my MPT (Master's of physiotherapy) degree at CRP, Savar.

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