What is Tennis 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 causes pain.

  1. Tennis elbow presents as pain on the lateral portion of the elbow.
  2. Golfers Elbow presents as pain on the medial portion of the elbow.

Tennis Elbow

Golfer's Elbow

How is Tennis and Golfer's Elbow Treated?

Tennis and golfer’s elbow are treated using any, all, or any combination of the following:

  1. Activity Modification. Slowing down or stopping pain producing activities helps speed up recovery.
  2. A removable brace supports the forearm muscles and tendons.
  3. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Over-the-counter and prescription medications that are used to decrease inflammation and pain.
  4. Physical therapy. Passive and active treatment is used to decrease inflammation and pain, and improve muscle flexibility and strength.
  5. 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.