Two common elbow complaints are “tennis elbow” (lateral epicondylitis) and “golfer’s elbow” (medial epicondylitis). They typically result from overuse of the elbow from activities such as tennis, golf and manual repetitive labour.
What is Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow is classified as pain on the outside of the elbow joint and caused by overuse of the forearm muscles involved in gripping, extending the wrist and extending the elbow.
What is Golfer’s Elbow
Golfer’s elbow presents as pain on the inside of the elbow and is caused by overuse of the forearm muscles involved in gripping, flexing the wrist and flexing the elbow. The tendon that attaches the muscles to the bone can become very tight and inflamed as the flexor muscles tighten. The blood supply to this area is very limited so it can take a long time to heal. Causes can include overuse in sports such as tennis, golf, and other activities including gardening, painting, computer and mouse use, lifting and carrying.
Symptoms can include: Elbow pain on the outside or inside of the elbow, possibly radiating down the forearm to the wrist. Elbow pain with lifting or bending the arm, gripping or activities such as lifting a cup, opening a door or turning a tap. Weakness in the wrist. Difficulty straightening the arm. Occasionally swelling around the elbow.
Sports massage therapy has been shown to be effective in the short and long-term management of both Golfers and tennis elbow. Here at Elite Performance Therapy, we use a combined approach of soft tissue release techniques, muscle stretching, protective strapping and strength exercises which help to reduce elbow pain, stimulate tissue repair and restore full function and range of motion. We may also recommend ice and anti-inflammatory measures to decrease pain and swelling.