Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is a common term for lateral epicondylitis. You do not have to play tennis to develop this condition, it frequently happens with repetitive tasks the often involve gripping and extending the wrist such as when holding a paintbrush or hammer. This occurs because the muscles that extend your wrist and fingers attach to the bony outside of your elbow.

Typically with tennis elbow, severe tenderness will be present around the bony area on the outside of the elbow. This can cause pain with gripping objects, lifting objects, and twisting of the forearm.

What is Golfer’s Elbow?

Golfer’s elbow is a general term for medial epicondylitis. This is similar to tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), except that it is on the inside bony area of the elbow. Reasons for this occurring are similar to that of tennis elbow where there is an overuse of the muscles that flex your wrist and fingers. These muscle tendons attach to the inside elbow bony area, and overuse results in irritation.

How physical therapy helps:

Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow can be treated very effectively with physical therapy. Modalities such as ultrasound, heat, and ice can assist with reducing pain quickly in the irritated tendons. Furthermore, hands-on therapy for the tissues and joints helps to restore normal joint movement, break up any scar tissue, and bring circulation to the area to promote healing.

As the pain subsides, the focus is shifted to making sure range of motion in the elbow and wrist are returned to normal. Strengthening programs are initiated to help support the affected and surrounding areas. In addition, we educate you on proper posture and techniques to manage work and repetitive activities to reduce the likelihood of reinjury. Call Bay State Physical Therapy today to discover how we can help relieve your tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow pain.