Elbow Pain

Elbow Pain

What is Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow?

Your elbow joint consists of three bones: your upper arm bone (humerus) and the two bones in your forearm (radius and ulna). There are bony bumps at the bottom of the humerus called epicondyles, where several muscles of the forearm begin their course. The bony bump on the outer side (lateral side) of the elbow is called the lateral epicondyle. The bony bump on the inner side (medial side) of the elbow is called the medial epicondyle. Injuring the outside (lateral side) is known as tennis elbow, while hurting the inner side (medial side) is known as golfers elbow.

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a painful condition that occurs when tendons in your elbow are overloaded, usually by repetitive motions of the wrist and arm. These tendons are bands of tough tissue that connect the muscles of your lower arm to the bone. The condition often happens after overuse or repetitive action of the muscles of the forearm near the elbow joint. Although common in sports, particularly racquet sports, it is also often seen in workplace injuries, meaning that you can suffer from tennis elbow despite never playing any racquet sports.

The pain of tennis elbow occurs primarily where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to the bony bump on the outer side of your elbow. Pain can also spread into your forearm and wrist. If the muscles are overstrained, tiny tears and inflammation can develop near the bony bump (the lateral epicondyle) on the outer side of your elbow.

Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis), is a form of tendonitis, caused by damage to the muscles and tendons that control your wrist and fingers. A tendon is a soft tissue that attaches a muscle to a bone. The group of muscles affected by golfer’s elbow are those that flex (bend) the wrist, fingers, and thumb, and pronate (turn or hold) the wrist and forearm so that the palm faces downward. The damage is typically related to excess or repeated stress, especially forceful wrist and finger motions.

Similar to tennis elbow, the consequences of golfer’s elbow result in pain along the elbow and forearm as well, except that the pain is usually felt on the inner side of the forearm rather than the outer side. Symptoms that arise from golfers’ elbows include weakness in your hands and wrists as well as numbness or tingling in the fingers, especially the ring and pinkie fingers.

The common causes for elbow pain could be from the following activities:
Racquet Sports
Job Related
Other Sports
Computer Work
Home Chores

Causes in your everyday life

  • Racquet sports: (tennis, racquetball, squash, badminton)
    • Improper techniques – especially using your backhand with poor technique repeatedly will quickly result in pain in the forearm and cause you to take a break from the sport you love.
    • Overweight racquet – a racquet requiring too much energy from your forearm for each swing will also quickly result in elbow pain.
    • Incorrect grip size – the smaller the grip, the more you are squeezing. It won’t be long before the forearm starts to feel this pain as well.
  • Computer heavy office jobs
    • Typing all day long creates excessive tension in your fingers.
    • Repetitive use of a computer mouse causes the same excessive tensions.
  • Musicians – constantly drumming or strumming for hours each day or repetitive fine movement with your hands.
  • Sports other than racquet sports:
    • Rock climbing – clenching your fists and constantly using your forearm to carry your body’s weight up to the next rock.
    • Fencing – creating leveraged stresses on your arm’s muscles.
    • Weight lifting – lifting weights with improper technique, such as curling the wrists during biceps exercise can easily overload the elbow muscles and tendons.
    • Throwing sports – baseball, softball, football, archery, javelin.
  • Insufficient warm up before playing sports
  • Home Chores
    • Driving Screws
    • Cutting up meat
    • Painting
    • Knitting

Daily struggles living with tennis or golfer’s elbow

Simple chores or daily movements in life become a struggle and this disrupts your life. You know right away something is wrong with your elbow if you are struggling to do any of these:

  • Shake hands or grip an object
  • Turn a doorknob
  • Hold a coffee cup
  • Lifting or bending your arm
  • Gripping small objects, such as a pen
  • Opening a jar
  • Making a fist

BPC’s 4 step process was established by our team of expert physiotherapists to best guide you through a successful recovery while empowering patients to take charge of their health through our personalized exercise program.

Road To Recovery

The first step in recovering is to take away instant pain. We will use our state of the art machines including ultra sound, laser and shockwave machines to take away your discomfort and pain that your muscles are experiencing. This will then allow your body the ability to relax, to be able to get back to its full function.

RELAX Muscle

Using manual therapy, our therapists will use their ‘hands on’ clinical massage to loosen and improve the mobility of the joints, soft tissues and nerves. This will unbind your tense muscles and eventually provide the mobility leading to increased range of motion.

RANGE Increase

Once your muscles are loosened, our therapists will work on increasing your range of motion which will allow the no longer painful joint or muscle to extend closer to its full range. Doing this with our therapists involves moving in the correct direction, speed and technique to prevent any further complications. While you get stronger, it will lead to our recovery phase of exercising.


To complete the process, we will work on the correct form technique, and exercises with you to make sure that your pains and complications do not return, so that you can live a healthier and happier life, physically and mentally, spending more time with your loved ones.

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