Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow are identical conditions that occur either along the outside or inside of the elbow and are defined as tendinitis. Tennis elbow occurs on the outside of the elbow, and Golfer’s elbow occurs on the inside, however, both conditions can occur without the patient having participated in either sport. As the names suggest, they are simply more commonly seen in tennis players and golfers by dint of the stresses placed upon the elbow during each activity. The medical term is epicondylitis, and it is caused by either abrupt or subtle injury of the muscle and tendon at the attachment point at the elbow. It is most commonly seen between the ages of 30-50, and occurs often in patients who have work activities that require repetitive arm, elbow, wrist, and hand movement, especially while tightly gripping something.
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The symptoms of Tennis and Golfer’s elbow are slowly increasing pain around the outside of the elbow that is worse when gripping objects or shaking hands. Patients with severe cases have trouble performing even the most simple actions such as using a toothbrush or gripping utensils. Surgically, the treatment for this condition involves doing a release, or cutting of the connective tissue around the elbow, and repairing of the tendon and muscle. This procedure does not have a very high improvement outcome rate and is recommended only as a last resort and most likely not at all.
Tennis and Golfer's Elbow Treatment
The correct treatment for epicondylitis is reducing tension in the elbow using myofascial release techniques to the arm and forearm and shoulder. Most Tennis/Golfer’s elbow occurs as a direct result of poor shoulder and elbow biomechanics. Restoration of these movement patterns will allow the tendinitis to resolve and allow you to continue your daily routine.