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Programs / Tennis elbow / golf elbow

How to treat tennis elbow and golfer's elbow

If you experience elbow pain during sports or your daily routine, you might be suffering from lateral or medial epicondylitis, also known as “tennis/ golfer’s elbow”. It’s commonly caused by repetitive arm & wrist motions, ie overloading of the elbow - and not just in athletes. Read more about causes, typical symptoms & treatment options.

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Tennis elbow vs golfer’s elbow

Epicondylitis is a condition involving pain in your elbow, sometimes also in your forearm and/ or wrist. It’s typically caused by overloading the tendons running from the outer and inner side of the elbow. This condition often appears in one of two variations:

  • Tennis elbow, which is on the outside of the elbow, ie lateral epicondylitis
  • Golfer’s elbow, which is on the inside of the elbow, ie medial epicondylitis

The monikers “tennis elbow” and “golfer’s elbow” are perhaps misnomers, as it’s not limited to athletes. This condition actually frequent occurs in occupations where work tasks revolve heavily around performing single-sided and repetitive wrist movements (e.g. carpentry). Within a sports context, as the names suggest, practitioners affected by the condition tend to be tennis, badminton or golf players.

Causes

In most cases, tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow is the result of too much pressure (or a combination of heavy pressure and repeated movements) on the wrist extensors. Wrist extensors are the part of your wrist that allows it to bend backwards.

Vibrations from using a tennis racket, a hammer or other tools are frequent culprits. Small repetitive exertions of pressure, such as using a computer mouse or typing on a keyboard for several hours, are other common causes.

Symptoms

It is common for the pain to appear a few days after performing the activity triggering the condition. Your pain will increase if you continue activities involving pressure on the wrist.

You may experience pain as a buzzing sensation. In the case of tennis elbow, you may feel pain in the outside of the elbow. In the case of golfer’s elbow, you may experience discomfort on the inside of the elbow instead. The pain will often radiate down into the lower part of your arm towards the wrist area.

Diagnosis and treatment

Relief

Tennis and golfer’s elbow are caused by overloading the body. The first step in treating an injury caused by overload is to relieve the damaged tissue. You can achieve this by limiting the load you put on your wrist when you bend it upwards. Especially focus on this when resistance or weight are involved as you move your wrist.

This can be difficult because of the way we normally use our wrists i.e. by bending our wrists upwards when we carry objects. Instead, try to lift/carry the object with your elbow facing outwards and the palm of your hand facing straight ahead or up. This feels unnatural, but it will help you to relieve pressure on the outer side of your elbow.

Exercise

Perform mobility, strength and stability exercises to increase blood circulation and then follow with stretching exercises. Using bandages for epicondylitis may result in significant short-term pain relief. In mild cases, elbow training can be initiated immediately.


Use the Injurymap screening tool to find out if you are ready to treat your elbow pain with rehabilitative exercises.


To ensure a complete recovery, you should undergo a three-month training program. Continuous exercising will help to prevent relapses. If you experience too much pain to be able to exercise, then some injections of adrenal cortex hormone may be helpful. In the rare instance that the condition does not respond to traditional forms of treatment, you may have to resort to surgery.


Start your training today

It is important that you seek to relief for your elbow pain at once and then begin some light rehabilitation exercises. We recommend trying Injurymap's rehabilitation program for tennis and golfer's elbow, as it offers you a complete treatment course that you can begin today.


Examples of good exercises and stretches for Tennis elbow / golf elbow:

Injurymap divides your rehabilitation plan into 3 phases

Phase 1

The exercises in phase 1 concentrates on your elboe injury with exercises that aim to improve the mobility of ...
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Phase 2

Phase 2 The exercises in Phase 2 help you to strengthen your balance and stability in and around your elbow. ...
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Phase 3

The exercises in Phase 3 will help you back to normal function by training your elbow strength and mobility F...
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Info about rehabilitation and pain

Why exercising helps reduce your pain

The human body is built for movement. If you don't use your body, your muscles and joints will become weaker a...
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How to exercise when you are in pain

Exercise treatment has been shown to be very effective for long-term recovery and pain reduction. Stimulating ...
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The structure of your exercise plan

When we structure your training plan, the damage sustained to your tissue is taken into account, as the exerci...
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Why it hurts

Pain in the musculoskeletal system (muscles, tendons, joints) may be due to many things, but the most frequent...
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