Tennis elbow is known medically as lateral epicondylitis. The lateral epicondyle is the area of bone on the outside of the elbow where the extensor tendons of the forearm attach. These tendons are connected to the forearm muscles that cock the wrist back and straighten the fingers.
Tennis elbow is not only common amongst tennis players, but also keyboard and mouse users, carpenters, plumbers or anyone who performs a repetitive movement at the wrist or elbow.
The symptoms are usually felt on the outside (lateral) aspect of the elbow just below the joint. The forearm muscles can become very tight and painful.
Tennis elbow treatment
There is often no quick fix; the patient can be treated with soft tissue work to the local muscles and articulation to the elbow, wrist and shoulder joints. Sometimes the radial head joint at the elbow is involved and requires treatment. The best advice is to reduce or stop repetitive movement such as gripping and twisting (turning taps, turning keys in a lock, wringing a towel). Medication to reduce the inflammation may also be useful.
Golfer’s elbow is known medically as medial epicondylitis. The medial epicondyle is the area of bone on the inside (medial) aspect of the elbow. This is where the flexor muscles attach, which bend the fingers and flex the wrist. Golfer’s elbow is less common than tennis elbow but is still very common amongst golfers.
The symptoms are similar to those of tennis elbow but occur on the other side of the elbow. Pain and tightness may be felt in the muscles which flex the wrist.
Golfer’s elbow treatment
A muscular skeletal assessment for the elbow, wrist and forearm is necessary to determine the extent of the injury. Osteopathic treatment which improves the function of the elbow and wrist and reduces the tension in the forearm muscles can be effective in reducing the symptoms. It is also important for the patient to receive advice on stretching exercises and golf technique.