Tennis & General Elbow Treatment for Fast Relief and Recovery

Tennis Elbow Vs Golfers Elbow

As one of the most frequently used joints in the body, the elbow is particularly susceptible to injury due to the strains placed on it from repeated use. The first step to effective elbow injury treatment is to understand the elbow and the two main types of injury affecting it: tennis elbow and golfers elbow.

The elbow is the point where the main bone of the upper arm (humerus) joins the two bones of the lower arm, namely the radius on the inside and the ulna on the outside. Several of the muscles in the forearm are connected to the elbow at bony bumps on the bottom of the humerus, called epicondyles. The bony bump on the outer side is called the lateral epicondyle, while the bony bump on the inner side is called the medial epicondyle. Injuring the outside (lateral side) is known as tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), while hurting the inner side (medial side) is known as golfers elbow (medial epicondylitis).

What are the causes of elbow injuries?

Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis):

The most common cause of lateral epicondylitis is when overuse or repetitive motions of the wrist and arm lead to the tendons connecting the muscles of the lower arm to the bone becoming overloaded. While the condition is common in sports, especially racquet sports and hence the name “tennis elbow”, it is also attributed to many work-related activities that involve overuse of the elbow.

Golfers Elbow (medial epicondylitis):

A form of tendonitis, medial epicondylitis is caused by damage to the muscles and tendons that control the wrist and fingers. The 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 injury occurs as a result of excess or repeated stress, especially forceful wrist and finger motions. As the name suggests, it can be caused by playing golf, but has also been attributed to other sports activities, such as pitching a baseball or serving a tennis ball, as well as non-sports-related activities, such as carrying heavy bags or using an axe.

Racquet Sports
Job Related
Other Sports
Computer Work
Home Chores

What are the symptoms of elbow injuries?

  • Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis): The main symptom of tennis elbow is a burning or aching pain where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to the lateral epicondyle on the outer side of the elbow. The pain may become worse when gripping and lifting small objects, such as a cup. When the muscles are overstrained, it can lead to tears and inflammation in the same area. The pain can also spread to the forearm and wrist.
  • Golfers Elbow (medial epicondylitis): Unlike tennis elbow, the pain associated with golfers elbow is usually felt on the inner side of the forearm rather than the outer side. Other symptoms include weakness in the hands and wrists as well as numbness or tingling in the fingers, especially the ring and little fingers.

Diagnosis & Treatment for Tennis Elbow & Golfers Elbow

How do you know you have Tennis Elbow and how to treat it

Tennis Elbow: The diagnosis of tennis elbow typically involves a physical exam and may also include an x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or electromyography (EMG) to rule out other causes. The first step of tennis elbow treatment is to identify the action that has caused the condition so that it can be avoided in order to allow the elbow to rest. Tennis elbow pain treatment may involve ice packs to reduce inflammation and anti-inflammatory medication. The next step is tennis elbow physical therapy which includes strengthening and stretching exercises. To find out more about tennis elbow physiotherapy treatment at the Bangkok Physiotherapy Centre.

How do you know you have Golfers Elbow and how to treat it

Golfers Elbow: Diagnosing tennis elbow usually requires only a physical exam. The treatment of golfers elbow starts by resting the joint, especially from the action which caused the injury. Ice packs and anti-inflammatory medication can be used to reduce inflammation, after which, physiotherapy can begin. To find out more about golfers elbow physiotherapy treatment at the Bangkok Physiotherapy Centre(<internal link to homepage).

Elbow Pain FAQs

Tennis elbow may improve on its own, but complete self-healing is less common. Rest and avoiding aggravating activities are essential for recovery. Severe or persistent cases may benefit from medical treatment or physical therapy.
Yes, physical therapy can be effective in treating tennis elbow. Therapists use exercises, manual techniques, and modalities to reduce pain, improve flexibility, and strengthen the affected muscles and tendons, promoting healing and recovery.
Avoid exercises that stress the forearm muscles, such as heavy lifting or repetitive gripping. Movements like tennis strokes should also be avoided during the acute phase to prevent further irritation of the affected area.
In the early stages of golfer's elbow, icing can help reduce inflammation. For chronic cases, heat therapy may improve blood flow and promote healing. Consult a healthcare professional or physiotherapist for the best approach.
The healing time for golfer's elbow varies based on its severity and the effectiveness of treatments. It may take a few weeks to several months for complete healing. Rest, therapy, and proper management can expedite the recovery process.
Elbow stiffness can result from various factors, including inflammation, muscle tightness, or joint immobility. Physiotherapy, stretching, and gentle exercises can help restore elbow mobility and reduce stiffness effectively.
Elbow tendinitis involves repetitive strain and microtears in the tendons, leading to a slow healing process. Adequate rest, avoiding aggravating activities, and following a structured physiotherapy program contribute to healing.
Tendinitis can heal with proper care, but it may recur if activities causing strain on the tendons continue. Complete healing is possible with adequate rest, targeted exercises, and lifestyle modifications to prevent reinjury.
To alleviate tennis elbow, rest the affected arm, apply ice, and consider over-the-counter pain relievers. Seeking physiotherapy for specialized exercises, manual therapy, and advice on modifying activities is essential for recovery.
Depending on the severity, you may need to modify your workout routine to avoid activities that worsen tennis elbow. It's best to consult a physiotherapist for appropriate exercises that promote healing while protecting the affected area.

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