Chronic Elbow Pain
What is Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow?
Tennis elbow (clinically known at lateral epicondylitis) and Golfer’s elbow (clinically known at medial epicondylitis) are both very common conditions which are often the result of strenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons, near the elbow joint.
What’s the difference?
Tennis elbow is a condition which causes pain around the outside of the elbow whilst golfer’s elbow is a condition causing pain in the inner side of the elbow joint.
It occurs when the muscles and tendons in your forearm are strained due to a repetitive or strenuous activity, this isn’t just playing tennis or golf. You can develop tennis elbow by doing any form of activity that involves repeatedly twisting your wrist and using your forearm muscles (so whilst playing racquet sports can trigger tennis elbow, so does gardening, using scissors or playing the violin). Similarly, golfer’s elbow isn’t a result of playing golf only, the repetitive actions or excessive lifting caused by DIY (even painting), racquet sports and weightlifting also contribute to the development of golfer’s elbow.
Symptoms to look out for include:
- Pain on the inside/outside of your upper forearm, just below the bend of your elbow
- Reduced range of movement and pain when lifting or bending your arm
- Pain when gripping small objects, such as a pen
- Pain when twisting your forearm, such as turning a door handle or opening a jar
Think this might be you? Here’s a little test..
For more information or to book a consultation with one of our friendly orthopaedic consultants see here. But don’t worry! Most cases resolve with rest/ice/anti-inflammatories. The next stage to consider is physiotherapy for stretching and eccentric strengthening exercises, followed by steroid injections if symptoms continue. An episode of tennis elbow will usually last between six months and two years. However, the majority of people (90%) will make a full recovery within a year.
Disclaimer: This information is intended solely for the general information of the reader and is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your GP/health care provider for a formal diagnosis of golfer/tennis elbow.