What is Tennis Elbow, Golfer’s Elbow
One common elbow condition is tennis elbow. Characterized by pain that travels from the outside of the elbow into the forearm and wrist, tennis elbow can in fact be caused by tennis, but can also include other causes. This injury is caused by overuse – the repeated motions used in tennis or during other activities such as painting cause stress to the tissues and surrounding tendons.
Tennis elbow symptoms may include pain with extension of the wrist, pain when gripping something like a cup or the spine of a large book, pain that gradually has gotten worse, and weakness in the arm. Often, the pain from tennis elbow can be largely alleviated by home-care methods – ice compresses, over the counter pain medications such as acetaminophen (known best as brand name Tylenol®) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, aspirin), and rest. However, if none of these methods has proven to provide any pain eradication, consultation with your physician may be necessary. Additionally, if you experience skin that is hot to the touch, fever, the loss of range-of-motion (inability to bend), or the elbow is visually awry, it is advised to contact your physician immediately.
Medical treatment for tennis elbow can include acupuncture and corticosteroid shots. Your physician may also recommend physical therapy and can give you advice to avoid reinjuring your elbow and causing further trauma and injury.
Golfer’s elbow is similar in nature to tennis elbow, and interestingly enough, tennis players can get golfer’s elbow as well. Golfer’s elbow can also occur to those who engage in throwing sports, racquet sports or weight lifting. Improper technique in all of these sports is what causes golfer’s elbow to occur.
As it is a condition that is sustained by repeated motions of the wrist and arm, the condition is treated in a similar manner to tennis elbow. The main difference between the two is that golfer’s elbow presents with pain that occurs on the inside of the elbow, and tennis elbow presents with pain on the outside. The pain is somewhat different, as those who suffer from golfer’s elbow may experience stiffness, the inability to make a fist or grasp small objects, weakness, and possibly a numb or tingling sensation. As with tennis elbow, it is first advised to ice the area, take over-the-counter pain medications and rest the affected elbow. Should the symptoms persist with conservative treatment, a visit to your physician is then advised. Also similar to tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow can be treated with acupuncture, corticosteroid shots, and physical therapy.