Tennis Elbow Vs. Golfer’s Elbow: Differences, Symptoms and Treatment
With the beautiful spring weather finally making an appearance people are going to start hitting the tennis courts and golf courses and I know I am going to begin seeing more sports injuries, especially tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. These are two very common sports injuries and neither is limited to a specific age or fitness level.
Although these conditions are both painful and similarly caused, they are actually quite different in the specific areas they affect.
What is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is a condition characterized by pain on the outer (lateral) side of the elbow.
Tennis elbow is a common type of tendonitis, also known as lateral epicondylitis (inflammation in the tendons). It’s usually caused by overuse, especially repeated and forceful gripping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist with the arm in a bent position.
It can also be caused by injury, such as an impact or fall onto an outstretched arm. The tendons affected are attached to the lateral side of the elbow and are connected to the muscles which enable us to bend the wrist backward and straighten the fingers.
- Pain felt on the outside of the elbow and down the forearm
- Touch tenderness on the outside of the elbow
- Swelling and stiffness on the outside of the elbow
- Pain or weakness when attempting to grip something or bend the arm.
What is Golfer’s Elbow?
Golfer’s elbow is a condition characterized by pain on the inner (medial) side of the elbow.
Golfer’s elbow is also a common type of tendonitis, also known as medial epicondylitis. It is most often caused by overuse, especially repetitive bending of the wrist and forearm, such as when gripping and swinging a golf club or throwing a football.
The tendons affected are attached to the medial side of the elbow and are connected to the muscles which enable us to flex the wrist and bend the fingers.
- Pain felt on the inside of the elbow and down the forearm
- Touch tenderness on the inside of the elbow
- Pain or weakness in the hand and wrist
- Numbness and tingling in the ring or pinkie fingers
- Pain or difficulty flexing the wrist
Although thought of as sports injuries, this inflammation of the tendons is also an occupational hazard for some professionals whose jobs require frequent repetitive gripping or twisting such as mechanics, plumbers and painters.
Treatment for Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow
If you’re suffering from tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, don’t worry – chiropractic care is a great way to treat your condition.
Most cases of tennis and golfer’s elbow respond very well to treatment in a matter of weeks. The main goal of treatment is to eliminate the inflammation and reduce the strain of the affected tendons.
Treatment typically includes:
- Rest of the affected area, which may include a brace or a splint, so the tendons can heal.
- Cold Laser Therapy to quickly reduce inflammation and jumpstart the healing process.
- Elevation to help reduce inflammation.
- Corrective and stretching exercises to lengthen and strengthen the surrounding muscles and reduce strain on the tendons.
- Ice to supplement the cold laser therapy at home.
The symptoms of both tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow present gradually and worsen over time. To avoid reoccurrence and for a quicker recovery it’s best to seek treatment as soon as symptoms become noticeable and not attempt to play through the pain. The strain on the tendons will increase and the condition and pain become more severe if not treated. The worse the condition the longer the downtime required to heal.
I’m passionate about my sports too so I know just how much you want to get back out on the court or the course, a customized chiropractic treatment plan based on your individual assessment can help get you back to the game without relying on masking the pain with pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs. Most importantly chiropractic care is designed to help correct your form and technique to address the cause and prevent future occurrences of the same injury.
If tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow is affecting your game give us a call to schedule an appointment and we’ll have you back in the game, performing better and pain-free.
Dr. William McKenna
Dr.William McKenna has been a Chiropractor for over 20 years in Westchester and Dutchess County, helping his patients to achieve greater health and live more active lifestyles. He is the founder of McKenna Family Chiropractic located in Pelham, NY, and Dutchess Braincore Therapy and Wellness Center located in Hopewell Junction, NY. He graduated from Life University in 1999 and has been advocating for better health, naturally, since. Dr. Will believes a smile is the first step in healing and building valued relationships with his patients. Book Appointment
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