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Golfers Elbow vs. Tennis Elbow

Updated: Sep 11, 2023


dry needle arm treatment

If you or anyone you know has ever suffered from arm pain, I'm sure that you have heard the term golfers elbow or tennis elbow thrown around casually as if you WOULDN'T know what it is... well the reality is that you are not alone and elbow pain is commonly misunderstood. so let's compare Golfers Elbow vs. Tennis Elbow.

Golfers elbow and tennis elbow are both common injuries that affect the elbow, causing pain and discomfort. Although they share some similarities, they differ in their symptoms, causes, and treatments. In this blog post, we will explore the key differences between golfers elbow and tennis elbow.


What is Golfers Elbow?


Golfers elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis, is an injury that affects the tendons on the inside of the elbow. These tendons attach the muscles in the forearm to the bony bump on the inside of the elbow.


Golfers elbow is typically caused by overuse of these tendons, leading to small tears in the tissue. This can result in pain and tenderness on the inside of the elbow, as well as weakness and stiffness in the forearm.


Golfers elbow is a common injury among golfers but it can also be caused by other activities that involve repetitive gripping and twisting of the wrist, such as throwing a ball, racket sports, or weightlifting.


What is Tennis Elbow?


Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is an injury that affects the tendons on the outside of the elbow. These tendons attach the muscles in the forearm to the bony bump on the outside of the elbow.


Tennis elbow is also typically caused by overuse of these tendons, resulting in pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow, as well as weakness and stiffness in the forearm.


Despite its name, tennis elbow can be caused by any activity that involves repetitive use of the wrist and forearm, such as typing, gardening, or using hand tools.


Key Differences


While golfers elbow and tennis elbow are both caused by overuse of the tendons in the forearm, they differ in the location of the pain and the specific tendons affected.


Golfers elbow causes pain and tenderness on the inside of the elbow, where the tendons that attach to the medial epicondyle are located. This can result in weakness and stiffness in the wrist and forearm, making it difficult to grip and lift objects.


Tennis elbow, on the other hand, causes pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow, where the tendons that attach to the lateral epicondyle are located. This can result in weakness and stiffness in the wrist and forearm, making it difficult to twist and grip objects.


Treatment


Both golfers' elbow and tennis elbow can usually be treated with conservative measures, such as rest, ice/heat and compression. physical therapy such as osteopathy may be helpful along with the prescription of strength training of the neck and shoulder. In some cases, anti-inflammatory medications may be recommended by a pharmacist or GP to reduce pain and inflammation.


Surgery is typically only recommended for severe cases of golfers' elbow or tennis elbow that do not respond to conservative treatment.


In conclusion, while golfers' elbow and tennis elbow may seem similar, they are different injuries that affect different tendons and cause pain in different areas of the elbow. If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your elbow Whole Health Osteopathy regularly treats and manages elbow and arm pain - so don't put it off, contact us today!


The blog "Golfers Elbow vs. Tennis Elbow" was written by Whole Health Osteopath Dr Jess. Whole Health Osteopathy was established in 2017 and is located at 855 Plenty Road, South Morang, 3752.

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