Tennis Elbow/Golfers Elbow

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

Acute Tennis Elbow is an injury to the muscles that extend the wrist and fingers. The site of injury is typically the lateral epicondyle, a bony bump on the outside of the elbow where these muscles attach. Acute Tennis Elbow is caused by damaged muscle tissue at the point it anchors to the arm bone at the elbow. It occurs when more force is applied to an area than the normal healthy tissues can handle. The stronger and more elastic the soft tissue i.e. muscles and tendons of the forearm and elbows, the less likely they will be injured.

‘Tennis Elbow’ Causes include:

  • Unaccustomed hand use. e.g. painting a fence, hammering, lots of typing.
  • Excessive gripping or wringing activities
  • Poor forearm muscle strength or tight muscles
  • Poor technique

Referred Pain

A significant percentage of tennis elbow sufferers may feel pain in the lateral elbow, but not actually be experiencing tennis elbow. There is a likelihood of lateral elbow pain that is referred to your elbow from a cervical spine (neck) involvement. Through assessment we will determine the true cause of elbow pain.

Golfers Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

Golfers-ElbowGolfer’s elbow, also called Medial Epicondylitis, is similar to its counterpart, tennis elbow. The primary differences between these conditions are the location of the pain and the activity that leads to injury. However, both conditions are caused by overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm, leading to inflammation and pain around the elbow joint. Both of these elbow problems, tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow, are both forms of tendonosis. Tendons are the structures that connect muscles to the bone. The pain of golfer’s elbow is usually at the elbow joint on the inside of the arm. Many patients also complain of a shooting sensation down the forearm while gripping objects.

Most often, golfer’s elbow is the result of an overuse condition where a specific activity done many times causes a chronic irritation to the tendon. Golf is one common cause of these symptoms, but many other sport and work-related activities can cause the same condition.

Tennis Elbow/Golfers Elbow Treatment

Treatment is aimed at restoring the strength and elasticity of the muscles and tendons. It also requires improving the way the elbow, wrist, hand, shoulder and neck move. Reducing the inflammation plays a very important role in achieving rapid recovery and we will advise you on how to do this. We restore the elasticity with deep tissue massage, active releases and stretches. The strength is restored by teaching you exercise.

Regarding sporting injuries, modifications may need to be made to the equipment i.e. tennis racket and golf club, including the length, weight and grip size. Swing mechanics should be evaluated to ensure an optimal swing to correct sport mechanics.

Following a thorough assessment of your elbow, arm and neck, we will discuss the best strategy for you to use based on your symptoms and your how we can modify your lifestyle.