The elbow joint is surrounded by muscles that move your elbow, wrist and fingers. The tendons in your elbow joint the bones and muscles together, and control the muscles of your forearm.
We constantly use these muscles everyday however, if we use repetitive actions – typing, hammering, painting, gripping – or strenuous activities which with these muscles are not used to – decorating, DIY, – the muscles and tendons can become strained. Tiny tears and inflammation can develop near the bony lump on either side of your elbow and cause pain, even if you use your forearm muscles frequently, you can still injure them.
Tennis elbow and golfers elbow – what’s the difference?
Tennis Elbow affects the tendons attached to the outer side of your elbow, these tendons are connected to the muscles that extend your wrist backward and straighten your fingers. It causes pain and tenderness on the outside of your elbow. You may also have pain in your forearm and in the back of your hand. Medically it is known as lateral epicondylitis.
Golfers Elbow affects tendons connected to the inner side of your elbow, these tendons are attached to the muscles that flex your wrist and contract your fingers when you grip something and will cause pain and tenderness on the inside of your elbow and is known as medial epicondylitis.
The pain of tennis or golfers elbow can range from mild discomfort while using your elbow, to severe pain that can be felt when your elbow is still. The symptoms for both tennis and golfer’s elbow are similar, but they appear on opposite sides of the elbow and arm. Usually the pain starts gradually and get worse over time.
If you have tennis elbow, you will usually experience:
- pain on the outside of your upper forearm, just below your elbow – the pain may also travel down your forearm towards your wrist
- pain/weakness when lifting or bending your arm
- pain/weakness when writing or gripping small objects – for example, when holding a pen
- pain when twisting your forearm – for example, when turning a door handle or opening a jar
- pain and stiffness when fully extending your arm
If you have Golfer’s elbow you will usually experience:
- Pain and tenderness on the inside of your elbow
- Pain that radiates down your arm from the inside of your elbow
- Weakness in your hand or wrist
- Numbness or tingling in your ring and little fingers
- Pain when you grip or twist things
- Pain when you flex your wrist
Treatment for Tennis, Golfers Elbow:
Fortunately both these conditions can be treated without the need for surgery, although complete recovery can take weeks or even months, depending on the severity of the condition. As with other forms of tendonitis, the most important aspect of treatment is to reduce the amount of strain on the affected tendons. This may include resting the arm, ice therapy, remedial massage, medical acupuncture and/or taping.
At Body Logic Massage Therapy we can fully assess your condition and tailor a treatment specifically for you by using certain techniques and modalities to deal with the recovery, including (if necessary), Medical Acupuncture and KinesioTaping. We can also look at strength and stretching rehabilitation exercises to get you back on the road to recovery and to help prevent the recurrence of the injury.
For more information how we can help contact us on 01779 477739 or click on the book now button on our website to book your appointment.