Tennis & Golfers Elbow

woman in white holding a tennis racket while gripping her elbow in pain

Definition

Tendonitis inside or outside the elbow joint causing pain in your elbow or forearm.

Root Causes

"Pins and Needles", Difficulty Making a Fist, Diminished Strength, Elbow Pain, Loss of Flexibility, Numbness or Tingling

Risk Factors

Age, Careers with Repetitive Motion, Sports

Treatments

Anti-Inflammatory Analgesics, Chiropractic, Elbow Braces, Joint Injections, KT Taping, PENS Therapy, Physical Therapy

Appointment Inquiries

What are tennis and golfer’s elbow?

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a type of tendonitis or inflammation of a tendon. When the tendons on the outside of your elbow join to your forearm become swollen, we call that tennis elbow.

Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) is also a type of tendonitis. It is a lot like tennis elbow, except it affects the inside of the elbow joint instead of the outside.

Both conditions can cause discomfort where the elbow connects to your forearm’s muscles. In some cases, micro-tearing may also occur. This is when the muscles, tendons, and other soft tissue around the elbow are so overworked that they get hundreds or thousands of tiny tears. This can cause additional tenderness to the area.

If you play a sport that involves a racket, club, bat, stick, paddle, rod, or any sports equipment, you are at risk for elbow joint irritation. Weight lifting can even cause these conditions. Even though these conditions are called tennis and golfer’s elbow, many patients treated for these conditions don’t play golf or tennis. They are actually mostly caused by overuse or repetitive use of the forearm, wrist, or hand.

What are the symptoms of tennis and golfer’s elbow?

Although these are different diseases they have the same symptoms. Some of your symptoms may include:

  • Elbow pain
  • Difficulty making a fist
  • Diminished strength in your hand or wrist
  • Loss of flexibility in your elbow
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Pins and needles

Most of the symptoms will appear from above the elbow down to your fingers.

What are the causes of tennis and golfer’s elbow?

While you might get these conditions from playing tennis or golf, they are mostly caused by jobs that involve repetitive motions.

The most common occupations that experience them are:

  • Assembly line workers
  • Butchers
  • Carpenters
  • Cooks
  • Dentists
  • Musicians
  • Painters
  • Plumbers

Any occupation that involves computer work can cause tennis or golfers’ elbows too.

Golfer’s and tennis elbow mostly affect people between the age of 30 and 50. While both arms may be affected, they only usually affect one arm.

Treatment options at BackFit:

BackFit Health + Spine’s number one goal is to provide superior patient care and pain relief as quickly as possible. We are also interested in diagnosing the cause so that you are not injured again.

When you come into a BackFit clinic, we will start with a medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic testing (such as x-rays if needed) to make sure we recommend the right treatment for you. Some of our treatments that can reduce the pain or fix tennis and golfer’s elbow include:

Our chiropractors, physical therapists, medical team, and massage therapists are here to get you back in the game or working without pain as quickly as possible.

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