What is tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow?
Tennis players and golfers flex their forearm muscles—which insert on the lateral (outside) and medial (inside) portion of the elbow—throughout their swing. Upon impact with the ball, the flexed muscles and their tendons experience a great deal of force. When impact swinging motions are repeated over and over, the tendons can become irritated and inflamed, which can cause tennis elbow and golfer's elbow.
Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is an inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow.
Golfers Elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is an inflammation of the tendon that connects the elbow to the wrist.
How is elbow tendinitis treated?
Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are treated using any, all, or any combination of the following:
- Activity Modification. Slowing down or stopping pain producing activities helps speed up recovery.
- Bracing. A removable brace supports the forearm muscles and tendons.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Over-the-counter and prescription medications that are used to decrease inflammation and pain.
- Physical therapy. Passive and active physical therapy treatments may be used to decrease inflammation and pain, and improve muscle flexibility and strength.
- Corticosteroid injections. Fast acting, powerful anti-inflammatory medication can be administered via injected directly into the inflamed area.
Patients with tennis and/or golfer’s elbow can expect symptom relief and a return to activity/competition when they adhere to treatment plan and recommendations prescribed by their orthopedic specialist.